Avoidable blindness and its correction in schools for the blind in Gujarat, India


  • Parul Mehul Danayak Avoidable blindness and its correction in schools for the blind in Gujarat, India
  • Rushik B. Patel Resident Doctor, Shri C H Nagri Eye Hospital, Ellis Bridge, Ahmedabad- 380006, Gujarat, India




Childhood blindness, Severely visually impaired, Magnifiers, Low vision devices, Non-optical devices


Background: The primary objectives of our study were to determine the causes of blindness in blind school students, to ascertain the need for spectacles and magnifiers as low vision devices (LVD) in these children with useful residual vision and to determine the acceptance of magnifiers in different ocular pathologies

Methods: The various causes of blindness were analysed in 179 blind female students in terms of the anatomical disorder present, the age of the child at the time of presentation with the visual disorder and the visual outcome observed after prescription of spectacles, magnifiers and non-optical devices.

Results: Microphthalmos (44%), corneal scars (13.4%), anophthalmos (11.7%), optic atrophy (10.6%) and retinal dystrophies (10.1%) accounted for the major causes of blindness. 63.1% of blind children had an undetermined age of onset of visual impairment. Majority of the cases with anophthalmos, retinitis pigmentosa, corneal degeneration, microphthalmos, buphthalmos, staphylomas and retinal dystrophies benefitted with the use of non-optical devices. 60% of the aphakic and pseudophakic eyes were prescribed magnifiers.

Conclusions: Spectacles and low vision devices do have a promising role in the visual rehabilitation of the ‘incurably blind children’.   


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