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Blindness: Causes, Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Nov 17, 2023

Blindness Causes, Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Blindness is the inability to see or lack of vision. The most severe circumstances leave one completely blinded. It also suggests that none of the following can help you fix your vision: surgery, medication, glasses, contact lenses, or eye drops. It's urgent if you suddenly lose your vision. Receiving medical assistance as soon as possible is important.

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Why Does Blindness Occur?

Blindness can arise from a variety of sources, such as wounds, infections, and illnesses. Ocular trauma, often known as eye injuries, can occur in various ways. Usually, just one eye is impacted. Damage may be caused by:

  • Burning chemicals.
  • Toxin exposure
  • Combats.
  • Sparks.
  • Incidents at work, such as falls.
  • Automobile collisions.
  • Athletics.
  • Sightlessness and infections

Blindness and visual loss are common side effects of many viral illnesses. These consist of:

  • Phalcoma,this is the main factor contributing to avoidable blindness.
  • Viral ketone bodies.
  • Hematozoplasmosis.
  • Keratitis, such as that caused by Acanthamoeba.
  • The shingles.
  • Syndrome X.
  • Tachyplasmosis.
  • Vitiligo.

Blindness can result from a wide range of non-infectious disorders, some of which only manifest in their most advanced stages. These consist of:

  • Rheumatoid pigmentopathy: This term refers to a group of conditions that affect your retina, the part of your eye that has special cells that react to light. As the disease progresses, the retinal cells degenerate. First, this results in problems with night vision, and then peripheral vision loss.
  • Age-related macular degeneration: This condition affects the macula, the part of the retina that controls central vision. Significant central vision loss makes it very difficult to perform tasks like reading or face recognition, although your peripheral vision usually remains intact.
  • Premature retinopathy: Some premature neonates are susceptible to this retinal condition. Blood vessels proliferate into places of their eyes where they shouldn't be. Scar tissue may have harmed their retina, leading to blindness and severe sight loss.
  • Cataract: Your vision becomes hazy and loses contrast when you have a cataract, which clouds the lenses of your eyes. Blindness could result from advanced cataracts if surgical surgery is not accessible.
  • Diabetes-related retinal damage: This condition may arise from damage to the blood vessels in the eyes caused by diabetes. Even though the vision loss may begin moderately, if the problem progresses or is not addressed, blindness may result.
  • Glaucoma: This condition has damaged your visual nerve. The loss of peripheral vision that often starts early in the disease can become blinding in later stages.
  • Gene-related optic neuropathy Leber: This term refers to a type of hereditary progressive blindness. For unclear reasons, males are more afflicted than females.
  • Eye tiredness: This disorder may manifest in a person who is born without one or both eyes.
  • Very small eyes: This issue affects people who have very small eyes from birth. Not all the time do these smaller eyes work as well as they should.
  • Stroke-Blindness may result from a stroke that damages the visual tract or the occipital lobe, two areas of the brain involved in vision. After a stroke, your brain either gets less blood or none at all.
  • Cancer: Blindness can be caused by eye malignancies such as retinoblastoma and orbital tumours.
  • Lack of essential nutrition: A poor diet might cause vision loss. A deficiency in vitamin A is one cause, but healthy vision also requires other vitamins, minerals, and B vitamins.

Also Read: Retinitis Pigmentosa: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Types Of Blindness

  • Partial Blindness: If you are partially blind, you can still see some. People often refer to it as "low vision."
  • Complete blindness: The inability to sense or perceive light. This is a rather rare sickness.
  • Congenital Blindness: Low eyesight that is present from birth is known as congenital blindness. Among the causes include non-inherited birth defects and hereditary retinal and ocular diseases.

You are considered legally blind if the centre of vision in your best eye is still 20/200 even after using glasses or contact lenses. A person with 20/200 vision has to be 10 times closer to an object or 10 times larger for it to be seen than it is for someone with 20/20 vision. Furthermore, you can be considered legally blind if you have a considerable reduction in your peripheral vision or field of vision (less than 20 degrees).

  • Nutritional blindness: The term describes vision loss caused by a vitamin A deficiency. If vitamin A deficiency continues, damage to the surface of the cornea (xerophthalmia) This kind of blindness may also make it harder to see in dim light or at night since the retinal cells are not working as efficiently.
  • Colour Blindness: You could be thinking about it because colour blindness is not the same as traditional blindness. Another name for this issue is "colour deficit." Your ability to perceive colour has changed. This condition may be inherited or acquired as a result of a retinal or optic nerve injury. The disorder known as achromatopsia causes one to only see shades of grey, black, or white.
  • Avoidable or Preventable blindness: These terms characterise the blindness that develops in people who have curable illnesses but never seek medical care. This often happens as a result of poor access to eye and medical care. For instance, those who never receive treatment for their diabetes may develop retinopathy connected to the disease.

Also Read: Corneal Ulcer: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Symptoms Of Blindness

A blind individual is unable to see or perceive light with their eyes.

The following signs of impending eyesight loss could manifest:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Pain in the eyes.
  • Flashers as well as floaters.
  • Photophobia, or sensitivity to light.
  • Sudden blindness or the appearance of black patches in your field of vision.

Also Read: Keratoplasty: Procedure, Results, Complications For Keratoplasty

How Blindness Can Be Diagnosed?

During a thorough eye exam, a specialist will assess the vision in each eye. Blindness can occur in one eye only.

Testing could comprise:

  • The Snellen test is a well-known examination for most people. A healthcare provider may ask you to read letters that are smaller and smaller on the page. Your central vision, or what you can see directly in front of you, is evaluated on this visual acuity exam.
  • Assessment of the visual field What's outside central vision is referred to as the "visual field". It's what you can see when you look up, down, or sideways without looking sideways.

Also Read: Retinoblastoma: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention And Complications

How Is Blindness Treated?

The therapy choices that may be available depend on your particular condition. Providers are only able to treat some types of blindness with medications or eyeglasses; they are unable to treat blindness caused by missing or badly damaged eyes. 

In some cases, your doctor may suggest vision rehabilitation. The goal of vision rehabilitation is to help you reach your visual goals and live a better quality of life by improving your visual functionality. Low-vision equipment utilisation, low-vision therapy, and training are often used to achieve this.

Treatment for various forms of blindness

Treatment options for specific types of blindness vary based on the cause and extent of the eye impairment.

  • Medication: Some forms of blindness caused by infections are treated with anti-infective medications.
  • Surgery: Cataracts can usually be successfully treated with surgery.
  • Transplant of the cornea: A provider may be able to replace your damaged cornea.
  • Retinal surgery: A doctor may be able to repair damaged retinal tissue with surgery or a laser.
  • Vitamin supplements: Taking vitamin A supplements could help stop the blindness that results from xerophthalmia. You may need to take vitamin B or vitamin D supplements to reverse the effects of diet-related vision loss.

Also Read: Ectropion: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Prevention Of Blindness

Some blindnesses cannot be prevented. Blindness, however, is frequently preventable.

Globally, communities and governments are working to prevent preventable diseases like trachoma from leading to blindness. Over a significant percentage of the world, they are increasing access to pharmaceuticals.

You can take certain actions on your own to reduce the likelihood of becoming partially or blind. These comprise:

  • Make an appointment for routine eye exams. Regarding how frequently you should get exams, pay heed to the recommendations provided by medical professionals. You should always contact an eye care expert if your vision changes or if there is an issue with your eyes. Put your glasses and contact lenses on when necessary.
  • If you are diabetic, keep your blood sugar levels consistent
  • If your blood pressure is high, manage it.
  • Wear safety gear whether riding a motorbike or participating in contact sports.
  • Never forget to wear sunglasses.
  • Eat the foods that make up a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Make time for exercise.
  • Consult your physician to determine the appropriate fitness programme for you.
  • Any medical problems in your family should be known.
  • Quit smoking.
  • To avoid infections in your eyes, always wash your hands before applying your contacts, and make sure you follow the contact removal instructions.

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