The causes of blindness can be extremely diverse and complex. Some people are born blind while others suffer from eye conditions that lead to this state. There are also a number of physical injuries that cause blindness, such as gunshot wounds or blunt force trauma to the head.
In addition to these causes, there is also the possibility of vision-impairing diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. If you want to learn more about what may cause your loved one's blindness or vision impairment, please read on.
The most common way to lose one's vision is through diseases, such as:
- Glaucoma - This disease of the eye can lead to blindness if not treated. It would be good to know the causes of glaucoma in order to avoid it.
- Diabetic retinopathy -This affects more than half of all diabetics and it can lead to total blindness if left untreated.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - This one greatly impacts many seniors who are at high risk for developing this condition simply by getting older. There are some treatments available depending on how far along your loved one's AMD has progressed. Fortunately, taking care of your eye health will help decrease your chances of ever getting AMD.
- Cataracts - This is the leading cause of blindness in the world. A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye, which can make it difficult to see clearly. Cataracts usually develop slowly and may not cause any symptoms until they are quite advanced. Surgery is often necessary to remove them.
There are also a number of physical injuries that can lead to blindness, such as:
- Gunshot wounds - These account for a relatively small percentage of all cases of blindness, but when they do occur, they are typically devastating.
- Blunt force trauma - This type of injury, common in car accidents and other types of falls, can cause damage to many different parts of the eye, including the retina, cornea and the optic nerve.
- Chemical burns - These can occur when a person is exposed to some sort of corrosive substances like ammonia or certain types of acids that burn into the eyes. The damage from these chemicals may be permanent if not treated immediately with an irrigation solution called Ringer's lactate (RL).
RL flushes out harmful chemical agents such as those found in drain cleaners and oven cleaners. It also helps reduce pain. Be sure you know what are the signs of blindness your loved one should look for so they will receive treatment earlier on.
Other conditions that may cause vision loss include:
- Stroke - This typically happens on just one side of the brain and is usually accompanied by other motor and language problems.
- Retinitis pigmentosa - This one damages a person's retina, which can lead to vision loss over time. There are treatments but no cure for this condition as of yet.
It's important to check in with an eye expert at least once a year or when you notice any changes. For more information on the common causes of blindness, don’t hesitate to contact us.