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World Blindness PDF Print E-mail





According to the World Health Organization, 314 million people in the world are visually impaired and 45 million are blind.  (Their definition of blindness is that the best vision in either eye is 20/400 or worse. - 20/400 means that someone can see at 20 feet what a normally sighted 20/20 individual could see at 400 feet.


87% of the visually disabled live in developing countries of the world.


Of the 45 million blind, many of the causes are potentially treatable or preventable.  Of the 45 million, a treatable cause, cataract, is the top cause at 39% or 17.6 million blind from this reason.


Besides cataract, other causes such as refractive error, trachoma, retinopathy from diabetes and onchocerciasis are treatable.  It is estimated that 85% of the cases of visual impairment globally  is avoidable.



The reasons that no treatment or surgery has happened in many cases are diverse and include the following reasons:


1.  poor access to care (no eye specialists or providers available)

2.  costs of surgery and care

3.  fear of treatment or surgery

4.  knowledge of friends or relatives with poor results from surgery