Skip to main content

Blindness - All A Seeing Person Must Know

Blindness is a state of being sightless or say an inability to see. World Health Organization - WHO (1972) describes blindness as the inability to count fingers at the distance of 3 meters in day-light after best possible spectacle correction in the better eye OR visual field less than 10° around the centre of fixation.

Blindness is of three TYPES:
  1. Loss of visual acuity.
  2. Colour blindness: Inability to recognize colours, and
  3. Night blindness: Night vision is damaged.
Blindness is CLASSIFIED into four types:
  1. Economic blindness: Vision in the better eye is 6/60 to 3/60.*
  2. Social blindness: Vision in the better eye is 3/60 to 1/60*
  3. Legal blindness: Vision in the better eye is 1/60* to the perception of light.
  4. Total blindness: No perception of light in an eye.
(* The number written first describes distance in meters at which a person can see and a number is written afterwards describes distance in meters at which a normal person can see on Snellen’s chart for vision.)


Causes of blindness:
  1. Congenital anomalies like anophthalmos, micro-ophthalmic, buphthalmos etc.
  2. Refractive errors: Axial length is either more or less in different meridians
  3. Cataract: Opacity in lens causing loss transparency of crystalline lens (mostly senile)
  4. Glaucoma: Rise in intraocular-pressure leading to loss of vision due to optic atrophy without any symptoms
  5. Trauma: Injuries
  6. Infections: Trachoma, Leprosy, Onchocerciasis, Herpes simplex
  7. Complications of diabetes, malnutrition and senile macular degeneration
Prevention of Blindness:

All of us know, prevention is better than cure. But hardly anyone follows.
  • Health education and awareness is the master key to prevent blindness and for that matter any disease.
  • Regular eye-check-up at birth (congenital anomalies), every time before going to primary school (refractive error and squint), high school and college, before joining one’s profession and every year after 35 years of age (glaucoma) will help us in early detection of the problem and taking all precautionary measures at an early phase of the disease.
  • Pre-marital counselling can save us from genetic disorders.
  • Hygienic living and public health measures can protect one from eye-infections.
  • Medical care and intensive control of diabetes is a must.
  • Nutritional disorders like Vitamin A deficiency has to do with social upliftment or free/subsidized food.
Treatment of Blindness:
  • Early medical treatment for glaucoma and infection.
  • Prescription of glasses for the error of refraction.
  • Cataract, glaucoma, squint, corneal and retinal diseases need appropriate surgery.
  • Treatment is available everywhere and at reasonably low cost, even free at charitable/government hospitals. Spectacles are no unaffordable. Just a little alertness and/or guidance is all that is needed.
Management of Blindness:

Last and the most important matter is living with blindness and doing self-development.
  • One needs not lose heart and think of blindness as the end of life. Helen Keller, John Milton and so many other blind persons have shown the way of life.
  • Persons having untreatable blindness require re-organization of their habits and re-education to allow them to do everyday tasks in different ways. Just learn that and life is not that difficult then.
  • For professional development, one needs the help of Braille books and visual aids. Having an education can make one independent and self-sufficient.
Where do we stand?

Article Reference: Article by Dr Swaraj Haldar,
Professor and Head, Forensic Medicine, Kolkata.

Comments

  1. Article is very informative. Causes of Blindness have lot of medical terms / words which I am not able to understand can you make it simpler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vaishali,

      Yes,I shall put simple meaning of technical words used in the article.

      Pappa

      Delete
  2. Interesting article. but I couldn't understand the jargon - anopthalmos, micro-ophthalmos, buphthalmos, etc. Can you explain?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anophthalmos = absence of eye from birth

      Micro-ophthalmos = very small eye

      Buphthalmos = big eye with raised eye pressure

      Delete

Post a comment

Optionally, you can also email your feedback directly to the author.

Popular this week:

Before Shirdi, Shivarimal and After Saputara, Shivarimal - Story of a School for Blind Children

We visit Saputara (the only hill station in Gujarat) round the year for pleasure trips. Similarly, the devotees of Sai Baba visit Shirdi frequently. For a change and possibly a better experience, I’d like to suggest you visit Shivarimal (a Free Residential School for Visually Impaired (Blind) and Physically Challenged Children), about 20 km from Saputara and 93 km away from Bilimora on Bilimora-Saputara road. Let me tell you my reasons for details.

My close friend Piyushbhai Dharaiya formed a charitable trust in the name of his wife Late Jyotsanaben and decided to donate the interest away, every year. I suggested him to visit Shivarimal School for Blind Children and experience the emotions of blind students. We finally visited this place on Sunday, February 16th, 2014 and the result is this introductory article.

Gujarat – Introduction And History

A student of History has to understand Geography, Economics and Anthropology simultaneously. A person curious to know about world history has to proceed step by step, learning his own state first, then country and then only one can understand world history. Well, appreciating above facts, I am starting my study with History Of My State Of Gujarat. I have put it in order of time and later described important states and rulers.

Karmic Theory (Law Of Karma)

“Facing Challenges and Creating Destiny” by BK Shivani, Gurgaon
National Conference on Mind-Body-Medicine, Mount Abu.
August 6-10, 2010
What is Karma?

Karma is work or energy going out in the form of 1. Thought, 2. Word and/or 3. Action. Resultant return of energy is in the same amount known as Bhagya (Destiny). The role of God is to ask you to do Karma and to help you to do RIGHT karma. Then whatever good/bad karma you do, the result is accordingly and entirely your responsibility. Because the result is Destiny (Bhagya). So don’t blame anyone else or God for anything bad. Do not try to blame someone responsible for your own deed and its result.

Anavils - An Endangered Community

After Parsis, Anavils (Anavil Brahmins, અનાવિલ બ્રાહ્મણ ) are the fastest decreasing community. The total population of Anavils around the world does not exceed two lakhs figure and that is also fast reducing day by day. Days are not far, beyond a century or so, when they will have to be seen/found in records, photos and videos. Why?

Because,
   - they get married too late,    - many are dying unmarried,    - they wait for the career to be settled before the first (and maybe the only) childbirth.

Bhagavad Gita - Short And Straight

Have you read Bhagavad Gita - also known as Shrimad Bhagavad Gita? A positive answer is not much awaited and so this article - giving details in a precise and shortest way. Just read every line and try to be with me in this story-telling. I am sure you will end up with great surprises.


BHAGAVAD GITA

Here, Bhagavad means GOD. Gita means singing poetry.

The context of the story is a dialogue - conversation, taking place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra war between Lord Krishna (kṛṣṇa) and Pandava prince Arjuna.

Three Decades Of My Nomadic Experience

I recently read the novel "Pyramid of Virgin Dreams" by Vipul Mitra. He affectionately described the pains and pleasures of multiple transfers because of his father’s job as DSP and later himself as an IAS officer. While reading it occurred to me, I have had a similar life of changing a place many times nearly every alternate year. So why not narrate my story and the article is here! A nomad means someone who lives by travelling from place to place - moving around all the while. I was a nomad for the initial 28 years of my life, staying and studying at more than 15 places. A year or two and change of the place again!

Jainism: Simplified

I am introducing here world spread religion having 5.5 million followers, mainly in India and abroad like USA, UK, Canada, East Africa and many other countries in one of the six greatest religions. Word "Jain" is derived from "Jina" meaning conqueror. "Arihant" is one who has destroyed his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion and ego.


Janki Van – A Nature Retreat

If you want to be alone to be with nature, it is an ideal spot. But if you enjoy crowds with your group this is an equally important place to visit.
42 km from Bilimora on Vansda Road, we reached Janki Van in less than an hour. Dr Nayana Patel, Dr Bhavana Desai (my wife) and I visited the place impromptu on a weekday.


The name Janki is related to Sita Mata of Ramayana and it is believed that at a certain point in the history, Sita Mata did stay here. The garden, a great picnic spot (16 hectors big), is situated 5 km away from Vansda, 6 km from Unai and 42 km from Bilimora. It is developed by the Gujarat Forestry Department under social forestry action and was inaugurated on 02-Aug-2015 while celebrating the Forest Day. Please, keep in mind it remains closed on Monday and visiting hours are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

History Of Muslims In India: Hindu-Muslim Relations

With this article, I would like to tell you about three things: (1) History of Islam and Muslims in India; then I will try to elaborate, specifically telling (2) What went wrong; and finally I will conclude telling (3) The future of relations amongst Muslims and Hindus.


Although it is routine to give references, in the end, I shall start with the list of three reference books in the beginning. All these details are not mine, I’ve only summarized them from these books.

મા પાર્વતી

ભગવાન શિવ-શંકર-મહાદેવ અને ગણેશ વિષે આપણે ખૂબ જ ભક્તિભાવ ધરાવતા હોઈએ છીએ. એ બન્ને વિષે જાતજાતની માહિતી રાખીએ છે. પણ તેમના કુટુંબના અગત્યના સભ્ય પાર્વતી-મા દુર્ગા-વિષે લગભગ અજ્ઞાત છીએ. ચાલો, મા પાર્વતીને વિગતે ઓળખીએ.

પર્વતપુત્રી તે પાર્વતી

પર્વત રાજા હિમાવત અને માતા મેનાવતીની પુત્રી પાર્વતીનો ભગવાન શિવ પતિ છે, તો ગણેશ અને કાર્તિકેયપુત્રો છે. પાર્વતિના ભાઈ વિષ્ણુ અને બહેન નદી ગંગા છે. આ સામાજીક પરિચય વાળી મા પાર્વતીને પર્વતને લીધે શૈલજા, અદિજા, નાગજા, ગિરિજા, અને હેમવતી તરીકે પણ ઓળખવામા આવે છે.