Chapter-21 The Causes and Prevention of Blindness

BOOK TITLE: Basic Ophthalmology

1. Jogi Renu
Publishing Year
Author Affiliations
1. MGM Medical College, Indore (MP), Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Medical College, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India, India, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Medical College, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
Chapter keywords


WHO defines blindness as a visual acuity of less than 3/60 in the better eye. In India, as in all other developing countries two-third of the blindness is estimated to be preventable or curable The three great eye health problems are cataract, corneal opacity and malnutrition. The leading causes of worldwide blindness are, cataract, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (ARMD), corneal opacity and diabetic retinopathy. The government of India had launched the National Program for control of blindness in the year 1976, with the aim of reducing blindness from 1.49 to 0.3% by 2000 AD and to provide comprehensive eye care through primary, secondary and tertiary level health care. The global initiative–vision 2020. “The right to Sight” was launched in 1999 by World Health Organization and International agency for the prevention of blindness. The aim of Vision 2020 is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness in order to give all the people of the world, particularly the millions of preventable blind, the right of sight by the year 2020. Vitamin A deficiency along with protein energy malnutrition (PEM) is termed nutritional blindness. The characteristic ocular manifestations of vitamin A deficiency ranging from night blindness, conjunctival xerosis, corneal ulceration to corneal softening are termed as ‘xerophthalmia’ or ‘dry eye’. The incurable blind need rehabilitation, by Braille system of education, low vision aids, mobility, vocational rehabilitation, and job reservations.

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