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  2. OVERVIEW  Blindness is the inability to see anything, including light.  If you’re partially blind, you have limited vision.  Complete blindness means you can’t see at all.  The current politically correct terms for blindness include visually handicapped and visually challenged.
  3. CLASSIFICATION The International Classification of Diseases 11 (2018) classifies vision impairment into two groups, distance and near presenting vision impairment. Distance vision impairment:  Mild – presenting visual acuity worse than 6/12  Moderate – presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18  Severe – presenting visual acuity worse than 6/60  Blindness – presenting visual acuity worse than 3/60 Near vision impairment:  Presenting near visual acuity worse than N6 or M.08 with existing correction..
  4. DEFINITION  Blindness: Loss of useful sight.  Blindness can be temporary or permanent damage to any portion of the eye, the optic nerve, or the area of the brain responsible for vision can lead to blindness.
  5. WHAT IS LEGAL BLINDNESS?  Legal blindness is referred to as condition when despite treatment such as surgery, a person is unable to see properly.  To be more specific, a person who is legally blind can see at 20 feet what a normal person can see at 200 feet.
  6. EPIDEMIOLOGY  Blindness and vision impairment affect at least 2.2 billion people around the world.  Of those, 1 billion have a preventable vision impairment or one that has yet to be addressed.  Globally, the leading causes of vision impairment are uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts.  The majority of people with vision impairment are over the age of 50 years.
  7. WHO’S AT RISK FOR BLINDNESS?  people with eye diseases, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma  people with diabetes  people who have a stroke  people undergoing eye surgery  people who work with or near sharp objects or toxic chemicals  premature babies
  8. WHAT CAUSES BLINDNESS?  Glaucoma refers to different eye conditions that can damage your optic nerve, which carries visual information from your eyes to your brain.  Macular degeneration destroys the part of your eye that enables you to see details. It usually affects older adults.  Cataracts cause cloudy vision. They’re more common in older people.  A lazy eye can make it difficult to see details. It may lead to vision loss.  Optic neuritis is inflammation that can cause temporary or permanent vision loss.
  9. ACCORDING TO WHO Globally, the leading causes of vision impairment are:  uncorrected refractive errors  cataract  age-related macular degeneration  glaucoma  diabetic retinopathy  corneal opacity  trachoma.
  10. WHAT CAUSES BLINDNESS?  Retinitis pigmentosa refers to damage of the retina. It leads to blindness only in rare cases.  Tumors that affect the retina or optic nerve can also cause blindness.  Diabetes : With diabetes, vision may be blurred, there may be shadows or missing areas of vision, and difficulty seeing at night  Blindness is a potential complication if you have diabetes or have a stroke. Other common causes of blindness include:  birth defects  eye injuries  complications from eye surgery
  11. WHAT CAUSES BLINDNESS? Total blindness (no light perception) is often due to:  Severe trauma or injury  Complete retinal detachment  End-stage glaucoma  End stage diabetic retinopathy  Severe internal eye infection (endophthalmitis)  Vascular occlusion (stroke in the eye)
  12. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF BLINDNESS?  If you’re completely blind, you see nothing. If you’re partially blind, you might experience the following symptoms:  cloudy vision  an inability to see shapes  seeing only shadows  poor night vision  tunnel vision
  13. HOW IS BLINDNESS DIAGNOSED?  A thorough eye exam by an optometrist will help determine the cause of blindness or partial loss of vision.  Doctor will administer a series of tests that measure:  the clarity of vision  the function of eye muscles  how pupils react to light  They’ll examine the general health of eyes using a slit lamp.
  14. HOW IS BLINDNESS TREATED?  In some cases of vision impairment, one or more of the following may help restore vision:  eyeglasses  contact lenses  surgery  medication  If you experience partial blindness that can’t be corrected, doctor will provide guidance on how to function with limited vision.  For example, you can use a magnifying glass to read, increase the text size on your computer, and use audio clocks and audiobooks.
  15. HOW IS BLINDNESS TREATED?  Complete blindness requires approaching life in a new way and learning new skills.  For example, you may need to learn how to:  read Braille  use a guide dog  organize your home so you can easily find things and stay safe  fold money in distinct ways to distinguish bill amounts  You can also consider getting some adaptive products, like a specialized smartphone, color identifier, and accessible cookware.  There’s even adaptive sporting equipment, like sensory soccer balls.
  16. HOW CAN BLINDNESS BE PREVENTED?  To detect eye diseases and help prevent vision loss, get regular eye examinations.  If you receive a diagnosis of certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma, treatment with medication can help prevent blindness.  To help prevent vision loss, the American Optometric Association recommends that have child’s eyes examined:  at 6 months of age  at 3 years of age  every year between 6 and 17 years old  If you notice symptoms of vision loss between routine visits, make an appointment with their eye doctor immediately.