Blindness is a condition pertaining to loss of sight, which may or may not be treated completely with surgeries. It can be permanent or temporary, depending on the type of damage incurred. Generally, there can be many causes for blindness, like damage to optic nerves or any part of the eyes or damage to part of the brains which controls eyesight. It is most commonly defined by -
The inability to count fingers from a distance of 20 feet or 6 meters.
A vision of 6/60 or below with the best spectacle support.
Individuals with blindness are referred to as visually challenged or visually impaired.
Following are the most common reasons of what causes blindness in India:
Cataract: It is one of the leading causes of blindness in India. Cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eyes. This condition leads to a gradual blurring of one’s vision.
Glaucoma: With this medical condition, the pressure of the eyes increases and causes irreparable damage to the optic nerve. If not treated on time, this condition can lead to complete loss of vision.
Besides, other reasons like diabetic retinopathy, corneal opacities, refractive errors, trachoma, severe damage to eyes due to accidents, etc., can also cause blindness.
Broadly, there are two types of blindness, temporary and permanent. However, there can be different types of blindness, classified as per the degree of the loss of vision:
Absolute blindness: It refers to the “no light perception” condition.
Manifest blindness: Just light perception or vision 1/60..
Social blindness: Where the vision is 3/60 or diminution to the field of vision is 10 degrees.
Economic blindness: Here, the patient cannot count fingers from a distance of 20 feet or 6 meters.
Curable blindness: In a few particular stages, the vision can be reserved via prompt management like cataract operations.
Preventable blindness: Here, the blindness can be completely avoided by undertaking preventable measures, like in the case of Glaucoma, Xerophthalmia, etc.
Since blindness can be avoided with immediate medical attention in some cases, it is crucial to watch out for the following symptoms of blindness:
Flashing lights, grey shadow, floaters in your vision.
Loss of vision in one eye, suddenly.
Persistent eye discomfort.
Poor night vision.
Inability to see shapes
Besides these factors, you should also be careful of even the minor injuries to eyes, any complications after eye surgery, eye pain, etc.
Depending on the causes, effective treatments for blindness are listed below:
i. Blindness due to refractive error can be addressed with proper refraction and by prescribing glasses.
ii. Dietary changes can also cure blindness caused by nutritional deficiency.
iii. Cataract surgery is another way to treat patients with cataract-related blindness. In this surgery, an intraocular lens (IOL) replaces the opaque natural eye lens.
iv. If the blindness is caused by inflammation, infections, etc., doctors prescribe medicines to treat it.
v. A corneal transplant helps patients whose vision is lost due to corneal scarring.
Almost 80% of blindness is preventable if you stay cautious. Here are some of the simplest ways to prevent blindness:
i. Maintain a healthy diet that includes vegetables like spinach, kale or any other greens. Include vitamin-rich fruits like oranges, mangoes, etc., in your daily diet. Besides, fishes are also a great source of omega 3, which are good for eyes.
ii. Besides following a proper diet, going for routine eye check-ups can also help diagnose and treat any eye-related problems on time.
iii. Smoking is hazardous for health and eyes alike. Quit smoking to restore the overall health of your eyes.
Treatment for blindness or any eye-related ailment is costly, and thus, it is best to opt for a blindness insurance plan to cover the cost of expensive treatment and medications. Insurance aggregators like Bajaj Finserv offer Blindness Cover under its Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions. The benefits of the policy include -
Up to Rs.3 lakh coverage.
Coverage for pre and post hospitalisation expenses.
Specialised doctor’s fees, treatment charges, ambulance fare, medications, etc., are also covered under this plan.
Moreover, the easy application and claim settlement process reduces the financial burden of the insured individual. Hence, considering the different blindness facts and their treatment costs, it is crucial for all to have such an insurance policy in place.