Blindness

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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 24 November 2023| min read
Blindness

Quick Summary

  • Blindness is referred to as partial or complete vision impairment of both eyes
  • In partial blindness, a person has limited vision, whereas, in complete blindness, the ability to see is completely disabled
  • The blindness can be temporary and permanent, depending upon the duration, cause, and severity

Blindness is referred to as partial or complete vision impairment of both eyes. In partial blindness, a person has limited vision, whereas, in complete blindness, the ability to see is completely disabled. 

The blindness can be temporary and permanent, depending upon the duration, cause, and severity.

 

 Signs and Symptoms

The only sign of complete blindness is complete vision loss, whereas the signs that indicate partial blindness are: 

  1. Cloudy vision 
  2. Unable to identify shapes 
  3. Poor night vision 
  4. Seeing only shadows 
  5. Tunnel vision 

Causes

Loss of vision could be a result of various factors and health conditions such as: 

  1. Diabetes mellitus 
  2. Accident/ injuries to the eye surface 
  3. Blocked blood vessels  
  4. Stroke  
  5. Birth defects 
  6. Premature birth complications 
  7. Eye surgery complications 
  8. Few eye diseases that may also lead to blindness are: 
    1. Glaucoma 
    2. Optic neuritis 
    3. Corneal or retinal Infections 
    4. Damage to retina
    5. Macular degeneration 
    6. Cataract
    7. Tumours such as retinoblastoma and optic glioma 

 Risk Factors 

Individuals who are at increased risk for blindness are: 

  1. Premature infants 
  2. Individuals with poor nutrition 
  3. Individuals working near/with sharp objects 
  4. Individuals undergoing eye surgery 
  5. Individuals with pre-existing health conditions like: 
  6. Diabetes mellitus 
  7. Stroke 
  8. Macular degeneration or glaucoma 

Myths Vs Facts

Myth: Blind people can see only blackness

Fact: No, blind people might see other colours such as grey, and brown gaze and can even perceive changes in light. 

Myth: Blind people are always dependent.

Fact: In the present day, blind people can perform almost every task either with a different approach or with the help of technology. Individuals with visual impairments rely on their other senses to perceive their surroundings. A couple of University of Washington experiments reveal how blind people's brains adjust to interpret information. 

Prevention and Disease Reduction

According to an estimation by WHO, approx. 80% of visual impairment cases can be cured or prevented with treatment. You can prevent blindness by: 

  1. Getting regular eye checkups 
  2. Maintain good eye health 
  3. You must get timely and accurate treatment if you have any other eye conditions.
  4. Blindness caused due to any deficiency can be prevented by following an appropriate diet.  A few of the food items that prove to be beneficial for the eye are:
  5. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale
  6. Eggs, chicken liver milk 
  7. Oranges
  8. Salmon
  9. Sardines 
  10. Walnut, almond, pistachios 
  11. Carrots 
  12. Sweet potato

When to See a Doctor 

You should immediately visit your doctor if you have sudden vision loss. Other signs you should not take casually are: 

  1. Cloudy vision 
  2. Redness in the eyes  
  3. Tunnel vision 
  4. Trouble in driving or reading 

Risk if not treated   

Since the blindness could be either permanent or temporary, accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment can cure the temporary blindness that is often caused due to cataracts or corneal scarring. 

However, untreated temporary blindness might eventually lead to permanent visual impairment.

Diagnosis 

  1. A physical examination of the eye to identify the cause of visual impairment. 
  2. A slit lamp for the general examination. 
  3. The doctor conducts various other tests to determine: 
    1. Vision clarity 
    2. Functions of eye muscles 
    3. Response to light 

Treatment 

Medication  

For individuals experiencing partial blindness that cannot be cured, your doctor will guide you to adjust to the impairment, for instance, using- 

  1. Audio clocks  
  2. Audiobooks  
  3. Magnifying glass for reading 
  4. For individuals experiencing complete blindness, the doctor suggests learning and adopting newer skills such as: 
  5. Reading braille 
  6. Using guide dog 
  7. Keeping the homes organised    
  8. Dietary modifications can also be recommended if the cause of blindness is Nutritional deficiency.

How to Prepare for the Doctor's Consultation? 

  1. A few questions you must ask your doctor are: 
  2. Is my condition temporary or permanent? 
  3. Is it curable? 
  4. What are the treatment options? 
  5. Are there any side effects? 
  6. What are the new ways I must adopt or learn?

Conclusion

Blindness is a partial or full vision impairment that could be either temporary or permanent. The temporary blindness can be restored by treating the underlying cause, whereas individuals suffering from permanent blindness have to adopt new skills for living their life.

 

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Updated on : 24 November 2023

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.

Reviewer

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More

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