Blindness is the inability to see or a lack of vision i.e., it is complete or partial loss of vision. In the most severe cases, there’s an inability to see even light. It also means that you can’t correct your vision with eyeglasses, contact lenses, eye drops or other medical therapy, or surgery.
Blindness is a significant public health problem in India. Nationally representative RAAB surveys (Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness) are being conducted periodically in the country to know the current status of blindness in the country. The current study describes the findings from the RAAB survey conducted during 2015–19 in India.
The results of the survey demonstrate that currently more than one fourth of persons aged 50 years and above are visually impaired (PVA<6/12 in better eye) in India. The prevalence of blindness among them is 1.99%, and older age and illiteracy are significantly associated with blindness.
Major causes of blindness included:
The proportion of blindness and visual impairment that is due to avoidable causes include 92.9% and 97.4% respectively.
With complete blindness there is a lack of vision and the inability of the eye to detect light.
Symptoms that you may have while vision loss develops include:
Each eye is tested for sight, thorough eye exam. It’s possible for blindness to affect only one eye.
Tests may include:
There are many causes of blindness, including injuries, infections and medical conditions.
Eye injuries, or ocular trauma, can happen in many ways. It usually affects only one eye. Damage can result from:
Many infectious diseases can lead to vision loss and sometimes blindness. These include:
Many non-infectious diseases can cause blindness, but some in only the most severe stages of the disease. These include:
Blindness is preventable in many cases.
Some governments and societies are working to stop blindness caused by preventable diseases, like trachoma. They’re making medicines more available in large areas of the world.
On a personal level, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of partial or total blindness. These include:
A healthy diet can help in prevention of blindness. If you tips which everyone must follow to keep their eyes healthy are:
ü Vitamin A: Vitamin A deficiency may lead to night blindness and dry eyes. Vitamin A is only found in animal-derived foods, but your body can convert certain plant-based carotenoids into vitamin A.
ü 2–3. Lutein and Zeaxanthin: A high intake of lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce your risk of eye diseases, such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin usually occur together in foods. Spinach, swiss chard, kale, parsley, pistachios, and green peas are among the best sources. Other sources are egg yolks, sweet corn, and red grapes may also be high in lutein and zeaxanthin . In fact, egg yolks are considered one of the best sources due to their high fat content
ü Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Getting adequate amounts of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from oily fish or supplements may reduce your risk of several eye diseases — especially dry eyes.
ü Gamma-Linolenic Acid: GLA, which is found in high amounts in evening primrose oil, may reduce symptoms of dry eye disease.
ü Vitamin C: Vitamin C is necessary for your eye health, and getting enough of this antioxidant may protect against cataracts. High amounts of vitamin C are found in many fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, citrus fruits, guavas, kale, and broccoli.
ü Vitamin E: Vitamin E deficiency may lead to visual degeneration and blindness. For those who aren’t deficient, supplements probably won’t provide an added benefit. The best dietary sources of vitamin E include almonds, sunflower seeds, and vegetable oils like flaxseed oil.
ü Zinc: Zinc plays an important role in eye function. One study suggests that supplements may slow the early development of macular degeneration in older adults. Natural dietary sources of zinc include oysters, meat, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts.
Few of the homoeopathic listed below are helpful to prevent blindness or to treat blindness with favourable result, if taken according to the totality of symptoms. They are:
Osmium: Glaucoma; with iridescent vision. Violent supra and infra-orbital neuralgia; violent pains and lachrymation. Green colors surround candle-light. Conjunctivitis. Increase in intra-ocular tension, dim sight, photophobia.
Comocladia: Ciliary neuralgia with eyes feeling large and protruded, especially right. Worse, near warm stove; feels as if pressed outward. Sees only glimmer of light with left eye. Glaucoma, sense of fullness; eyeball feels too large. Motion of eyes aggravates.
Cineraria maritama: used with great success incases of cataract as an external application. Indicated in Traumatic cataract, senile cataract and in corneal opacities.
Phosphorus: Cataract. Sensation as if everything were covered with a mist or veil, or dust, or something pulled tightly over eyes. Black points seem to float before the eyes. Patient sees better by shading eyes with hand. Fatigue of eyes and head even without much use of eyes. Green halo about the candlelight (Osmium). Letters appear red. Atrophy of optic nerve. Œdema of lids and about eyes. Pearly white conjunctiva and long curved lashes. Partial loss of vision from abuse of tobacco. Pain in orbital bones. Paresis of extrinsic muscles. Diplopia, due to deviation of the visual axis. Amaurosis from sexual excess. Glaucoma. Thrombosis of retinal vessels and degenerative changes in retinal cells. Degenerative changes where soreness and curved lines are seen in old people.
Causticum: Causticum is rich in eye symptoms. Very often the patient says that the eyelids feel so heavy that he can hardly hold them up. This gradually increases until it becomes an actual paralysis. Sometimes there is the appearance of a veil before the eyes; foggy vision. Flickering before the eyes. Air seems full of little black insects. Then, again, large black or green spots are seen. After looking at the light a green spot appears and remains in the field of vision for a long time. Diplopia. And the vision gradually grows weaker until it is lost. Paralysis of the optic nerve. Lachrymation, tears acrid, burning; ulceration, copious discharges from the eyes, agglutination of the lids, paralysis of the eye muscles.
Physostigma: Night-blindness; photophobia; contraction of pupils; twitching of ocular muscles. Lagophthalmus. Muscæ volitantes; flashes of light; partial blindness. Glaucoma; paresis of accommodation; astigmatism. Profuse lachrymation. Spasm of ciliary muscles, with irritability after using eyes. Increasing myopia. Post-diphtheritic paralysis of eye and accommodation muscles.
Gelsemium: Double vision. Disturbed muscular apparatus. Corrects blurring and discomfort in eyes even after accurately adjusted glasses. Vision blurred, smoky. Dim-sighted; pupils dilated and insensible to light. Orbital neuralgia, with contraction and twitching of muscles. Bruised pain back of the orbits. One pupil dilated, the other contracted. Deep inflammations, with haziness of vitreous. Serous inflammations. Albuminuric retinitis. Detached retina, glaucoma and descemetitis. Hysterical amblyopia.