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What is Blindness?
Legal blindness is visual acuity of not greater than 20/200 in the better eye with best correction or a visual field of less than 20 degrees. Legal blindness can mean tunnel vision, no central vision, cloudy or extremely blurred vision, seeing just shadows, or no vision at all.

What does 20/200 mean?

A person with normal visual acuity can see an object clearly, at 200 feet; a legally blind person must be 20 feet or closer to see the same object.

Blindness can occur as a result of a number of infectious and no communicable diseases, as well as injuries. Depending on the cause, up to 80% of blindness and serious visual loss could be avoided (prevented or treated). The main causes of avoidable blindness and serious visual impairment worldwide include cataract, trachoma and glaucoma.

CATARACTS: click here
Opacities and clouding of the eye's lens, known as cataracts, which may form and block the passage of light through the eye. Some people are born with cataracts, but the incidence increases with age. They are not painful, in fact the only symptom is blurred, dimmed or double vision. Not all require surgery, but those large enough to cause serious visual problems require surgical removal of the lens, implantation of an intraocular lens and corrective glasses or contact lenses.

GLAUCOMA: click here
Perhaps one in every seven or eight cases of blindness is due to this disorder, in which the transparent fluid inside the forward part of the eye does not drain normally and excess pressure is built up within the eye. If the pressure is not controlled, the delicate structure of the eye is increasingly damaged, resulting in blurred vision, a narrowed field of sight and eventually total blindness. Early symptoms may include blurred vision, halos around lights and reduced side vision. In the acute type, there is great pain as eye pressure rises quickly from blocked drainage canals. In the more common chronic type there is no pain and vision loss is gradual. Many cases are controlled very well by medication, but surgery is sometimes necessary. Early detection is important.

TRACHOMA: click here...

This is one of the oldest infectious diseases known to mankind. It is responsible, at present, for 15 % of the world's blindness. Worldwide, there are about 6 million people largely irreversibly blinded by trachoma and an estimated 146 million cases of active disease in need of treatment, if blindness is to be prevented. Today, the disease is found mainly in poor rural areas of most African countries, some countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in certain parts of Central and South America. Trachoma is still endemic in several Asian countries, but there is a lack of updated information from some major populations, such as India and China.

Cataract, trachoma and glaucoma together account for more than 70 % of the world's blindness. In India the three diseases account for about 74% of those who are blind, in China - about 73%, in other countries of Asia and island countries - about 80%, and in Sub-Saharan Africa - 75%. Their individual relative importance varies greatly by region and sometimes by country