Lions Clubs International is recognised worldwide for its service to the blind and visually impaired. This service began through a challenge issued in 1925 by Helen Keller, the great advocate for the blind, for Lions to become "Knights of the Blind in the crusade against darkness". In 1930 Lions introduced the White Cane, still universally used by the visually impaired.

In 1990 Lions Clubs International launched its most aggressive sight preservation effort, SightFirst, raising US$150 million to rid the world of preventable and reversable blindness by supporting desperately needed health care services. Over the last three years Lions worldwide have raised an additional US$200 million as part of our Campaign SightFirst II programme, which builds on the achievements of SightFirst. With around 42 million people suffering from blindness in the world today, Lions internationally realised that many suffered from illnesses, conditions and problems which were generally not too difficult to treat successfully using relatively simple processes.

The Lions Eye Health Programme (LEHP) is a community based educational outreach programme that enables Lions Clubs to raise awareness of the leading causes of preventable and reversable blindness in the British Isles and Ireland - diabetic eye disease; glaucoma; macular degenerative disease; and all low vision diseases.