Blindness

Common Name(s)

Blindness

Blindness is the complete or partial loss of vision, also known as vision impairment. In the United States, legal blindness is defined as vision that is worse than 20/200, or vision loss that cannot be corrected using glasses or contact lenses. It can be caused by a number of eye conditions and diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, stroke, and birth complications. Head injuries, injuries to the eye and exposure to certain chemicals and toxins may also cause blindness. In underdeveloped countries, the leading causes include chlamydia (a sexually transmitted disease pregnant mothers can catch and pass down to their newborns), river blindness, and leprosy. It is important to note that 80% of all blindness is preventable or curable, as in cases caused by diabetes or chlamydia.

Blindness includes both partial vision loss, meaning difficulty with vision, or complete vision loss, meaning total lack of vision including an inability to see light at all. The most common symptoms of blindness are loss or lack of vision, cloudy vision, eye pain, and change in eye color. These symptoms can develop rapidly, slowly over time, or be present from birth depending on the cause. Blindness is diagnosed using an eye exam that measures the patient’s clearness of vision, strength of eye muscles, and reaction to light. Treatment for blindness depends on the cause and severity of the condition.

If you experience sudden vision loss, contact a medical professional immediately as this could be a sign of a serious condition. If you have concerns about your vision or have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to have regular eye checkups to prevent worsening or loss of vision. If you are pregnant, consult with your doctor to confirm all immunizations are up to date and to screen for sexually transmitted infections before delivery to prevent vision and other problems in your child. Support groups are also available for more resources and information.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Blindness" for support, advocacy or research.

Usher Syndrome Coalition

The Usher Syndrome Coalition's mission is to raise awareness and accelerate research for the most common cause of combined deafness and blindness. The Coalition also provides information and support to individuals and families affected by Usher syndrome.

Last Updated: 31 Oct 2014

View Details
Logo
Oklahoma Family Network

To Provide emotional, informational and navigational support to those who have special health care needs or a disability, their families and the professionals who serve them. OFN promotes family/professional partnerships and family-centered care, assuring services are offered as recipients prefer..

Last Updated: 15 Apr 2013

View Details
Xeroderma Pigmentosum Family Support Group

The Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) Family Support group exists to improve the quality of life persons of those persons with XP and other diagnosed UV light conditions

Last Updated: 2 Dec 2009

View Details
Logo
Zellweger Baby Support Network

This organization was started by a small group of parents whose lives have been affected in some way by a rare disorder. Our gift, in honor of our children, was to start this site, so we can help families and to raise awareness of these rare disorders. If your child has been diagnosed with Zellweger syndrome, a peroxisomal disorder or another rare disorder, we are here to help you. You are not alone! Our mission is to promote, advance, and improve awareness of Zellweger syndrome and other peroxisomal disorders, to assist, support, and aid, financially or otherwise, individuals and families affected by Zellweger syndrome. We will help you learn more about these disorders. We will provide emotional support, and we can help you to create a journal site for your child so that family and friends can be kept up to date on your child. We will pray with you and for you as you journey through life with your special angel. We know this is a hard time for you; you want answers, informa

Last Updated: 20 Feb 2013

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
Top

How do you compare to others with this condition?

Privately answer questions about your health. Let resources, you select, come to you.

Anonymously share and see how your answers compare with others with this condition while privately providing key pieces of information to medical researchers, disease advocacy groups, and others ONLY YOU select to help speed up cures and better alternatives.

 
 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Blindness" for support, advocacy or research.

Usher Syndrome Coalition

The Usher Syndrome Coalition's mission is to raise awareness and accelerate research for the most common cause of combined deafness and blindness. The Coalition also provides information and support to individuals and families affected by Usher syndrome.

http://www.usher-syndrome.org

Last Updated: 31 Oct 2014

View Details
Logo
Oklahoma Family Network

To Provide emotional, informational and navigational support to those who have special health care needs or a disability, their families and the professionals who serve them. OFN promotes family/professional partnerships and family-centered care, assuring services are offered as recipients prefer..

http://www.oklahomafamilynetwork.org

Last Updated: 15 Apr 2013

View Details
Xeroderma Pigmentosum Family Support Group

The Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) Family Support group exists to improve the quality of life persons of those persons with XP and other diagnosed UV light conditions

http://www.xpfamilysupport.org

Last Updated: 2 Dec 2009

View Details
Logo
Zellweger Baby Support Network

This organization was started by a small group of parents whose lives have been affected in some way by a rare disorder. Our gift, in honor of our children, was to start this site, so we can help families and to raise awareness of these rare disorders. If your child has been diagnosed with Zellweger syndrome, a peroxisomal disorder or another rare disorder, we are here to help you. You are not alone! Our mission is to promote, advance, and improve awareness of Zellweger syndrome and other peroxisomal disorders, to assist, support, and aid, financially or otherwise, individuals and families affected by Zellweger syndrome. We will help you learn more about these disorders. We will provide emotional support, and we can help you to create a journal site for your child so that family and friends can be kept up to date on your child. We will pray with you and for you as you journey through life with your special angel. We know this is a hard time for you; you want answers, informa

http://www.zbsn.org

Last Updated: 20 Feb 2013

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
 
 
Top

Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Blindness" returned 953 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Pupillary Light Reflexes in Severe Photoreceptor Blindness Isolate the Melanopic Component of Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells.
 

Author(s): Jason Charng, Samuel G Jacobson, Elise Heon, Alejandro J Roman, David B McGuigan, Rebecca Sheplock, Mychajlo S Kosyk, Malgorzata Swider, Artur V Cideciyan

Journal: Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci.. 2017 Jun;58(7):3215-3224.

 

Pupillary light reflex (PLR) is driven by outer retinal photoreceptors and by melanopsin-expressing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells of the inner retina. To isolate the melanopic component, we studied patients with severe vision loss due to Leber congenital amaurosis ...

Last Updated: 29 Jun 2017

Go To URL
Blindness enhances auditory obstacle circumvention: Assessing echolocation, sensory substitution, and visual-based navigation.
 

Author(s): Andrew J Kolarik, Amy C Scarfe, Brian C J Moore, Shahina Pardhan

Journal:

 

Performance for an obstacle circumvention task was assessed under conditions of visual, auditory only (using echolocation) and tactile (using a sensory substitution device, SSD) guidance. A Vicon motion capture system was used to measure human movement kinematics objectively. Ten ...

Last Updated: 13 Apr 2017

Go To URL
Visual discrimination training improves Humphrey perimetry in chronic cortically induced blindness.
 

Author(s): Matthew R Cavanaugh, Krystel R Huxlin

Journal: Neurology. 2017 May;88(19):1856-1864.

 

To assess if visual discrimination training improves performance on visual perimetry tests in chronic stroke patients with visual cortex involvement.

Last Updated: 13 Apr 2017

Go To URL

Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Blindness" returned 74 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Advances in implantable bionic devices for blindness: a review.
 

Author(s): Philip M Lewis, Lauren N Ayton, Robyn H Guymer, Arthur J Lowery, Peter J Blamey, Penelope J Allen, Chi D Luu, Jeffrey V Rosenfeld

Journal: ANZ J Surg. 2016 Sep;86(9):654-9.

 

Since the 1950s, vision researchers have been working towards the ambitious goal of restoring a functional level of vision to the blind via electrical stimulation of the visual pathways. Groups based in Australia, USA, Germany, France and Japan report progress in the translation of ...

Last Updated: 2 Sep 2016

Go To URL
Let There Be Light: Gene and Cell Therapy for Blindness.
 

Author(s): Deniz Dalkara, Olivier Goureau, Katia Marazova, José-Alain Sahel

Journal: Hum. Gene Ther.. 2016 Feb;27(2):134-47.

 

Retinal degenerative diseases are a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Retinal cell death is the main cause of vision loss in genetic disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, and Leber congenital amaurosis, as well as in complex age-related diseases such as ...

Last Updated: 18 Feb 2016

Go To URL
Relearning to See in Cortical Blindness.
 

Author(s): Michael D Melnick, Duje Tadin, Krystel R Huxlin

Journal: Neuroscientist. 2016 Apr;22(2):199-212.

 

The incidence of cortically induced blindness is increasing as our population ages. The major cause of cortically induced blindness is stroke affecting the primary visual cortex. While the impact of this form of vision loss is devastating to quality of life, the development of principled, ...

Last Updated: 17 Mar 2016

Go To URL
 
 
Top

Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Last Updated: 20 Dec 2016

Go to URL
Development of a Cortical Visual Neuroprosthesis for the Blind
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Blindness

 

Last Updated: 1 Dec 2016

Go to URL

Last Updated: 30 Dec 2015

Go to URL