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

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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

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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

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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

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General Support Organizations

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How do you compare to others with this condition?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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General Support Organizations

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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 732 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Effects of extraocular muscle surgery in children with monocular blindness and bilateral nystagmus.
 

Author(s): Veit Sturm, Marketa Hejcmanova, Klara Landau

Journal:

 

Monocular infantile blindness may be associated with bilateral horizontal nystagmus, a subtype of fusion maldevelopment nystagmus syndrome (FMNS). Patients often adopt a significant anomalous head posture (AHP) towards the fixing eye in order to dampen the nystagmus. This clinical ...

Last Updated: 2 Dec 2014

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[Feature of bilateral blindness with normal fundus revealing an unruptured aneurysm of the anterior communicating cerebral artery].
 

Author(s): Abdellah Alaoui Ismaili, Meriem Abdellaoui, Zineb Khrifi, Noureddine Eddassi, Ourda Nejjari, Idriss Benatiya Andaloussi, Hicham Tahri

Journal:

 

Last Updated: 13 Nov 2014

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Auditory motion processing after early blindness.
 

Author(s): Fang Jiang, G Christopher Stecker, Ione Fine

Journal:

 

Studies showing that occipital cortex responds to auditory and tactile stimuli after early blindness are often interpreted as demonstrating that early blind subjects "see" auditory and tactile stimuli. However, it is not clear whether these occipital responses directly mediate the ...

Last Updated: 7 Nov 2014

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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 61 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

The status of childhood blindness and functional low vision in the Eastern Mediterranean region in 2012.
 

Author(s): Rajiv Khandekar, H Kishore, Rabiu M Mansu, Haroon Awan

Journal: Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. ;21(4):336-43.

 

Childhood blindness and visual impairment (CBVI) are major disabilities that compromise the normal development of children. Health resources and practices to prevent CBVI are suboptimal in most countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). We reviewed the magnitude and the ...

Last Updated: 5 Nov 2014

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Cortical plasticity and preserved function in early blindness.
 

Author(s): Laurent Renier, Anne G De Volder, Josef P Rauschecker

Journal: Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 Apr;41():53-63.

 

The "neural Darwinism" theory predicts that when one sensory modality is lacking, as in congenital blindness, the target structures are taken over by the afferent inputs from other senses that will promote and control their functional maturation (Edelman, 1993). This view receives ...

Last Updated: 24 Apr 2014

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New systematic review methodology for visual impairment and blindness for the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study.
 

Author(s): Rupert Bourne, Holly Price, Hugh Taylor, Janet Leasher, Jill Keeffe, Julie Glanville, Pamela C Sieving, Moncef Khairallah, Tien Yin Wong, Yingfeng Zheng, Anu Mathew, Suchitra Katiyar, Maya Mascarenhas, Gretchen A Stevens, Serge Resnikoff, Stephen Gichuhi, Kovin Naidoo, Diane Wallace, Steven Kymes, Colleen Peters, Konrad Pesudovs, Tasanee Braithwaite, Hans Limburg,

Journal: Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2013 ;20(1):33-9.

 

To describe a systematic review of population-based prevalence studies of visual impairment (VI) and blindness worldwide over the past 32 years that informs the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study.

Last Updated: 28 Jan 2013

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in GeneReviews.

There are currently no related results available in Genetic Testing Registry.

 
 
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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Inherited Retinal Degenerative Disease Registry
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Eye Diseases Hereditary; Retinal Disease; Achromatopsia; Bardet-Biedl Syndrome; Bassen-Kornzweig Syndrome; Batten Disease; Best Disease; Choroidal Dystrophy; Choroideremia; Cone Dystrophy; Cone-Rod Dystrophy; Congenital Stationary Night Blindness; Enhanced S-Cone Syndrome; Fundus Albipunctatus; Goldmann-Favre Syndrome; Gyrate Atrophy; Juvenile Macular Degeneration; Kearns-Sayre Syndrome; Leber Congenital Amaurosis; Refsum Syndrome; Retinitis Pigmentosa; Retinitis Punctata Albescens; Retinoschisis; Rod-Cone Dystrophy; Rod Dystrophy; Rod Monochromacy; Stargardt Disease; Usher Syndrome

 

Last Updated: 1 May 2015

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Last Updated: 13 Mar 2015

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Melatonin for Circadian Sleep Disorders in the Blind
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Insomnia; Blindness; Daytime Sleepiness

 

Last Updated: 4 Nov 2014

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