Blindness

blindness, partial or complete loss of sight. Blindness may be caused by injury, by lesions of the brain or optic nerve, by disease of the cornea or retina, by pathological changes originating in systemic disorders (e.g., diabetes) and by cataract, glaucoma, or retinal detachment. Blindness caused by infectious diseases, such as trachoma, and by dietary deficiencies is common in underdeveloped countries where medical care is inadequate. River blindness, caused by a parasitic worm transmitted by black flies, results in severe itching and disfiguring lesions. Infection of the eye area can destroy vision. An estimated 18 million people in Africa, Latin America, South America, and Yemen are infected with the parasite; 1 million of those infected are expected to become blind or severely impaired. Until recently, pesticides have been used to eradicate the flies. Two new drugs, ivermectin and amocarzine, have proved effective when used together. Most infectious diseases of the eye can be prevented or cured.

A major cause of congenital blindness in the United States, ophthalmia neonatorum, which is caused by gonorrhea organisms in the maternal birth canal, is now prevented by placing silver nitrate solution in all newborn infants' eyes. Retinitis pigmentosis, a hereditary and degenerative eye disease, affects 100,000 people in the United States. An early sign is night blindness which progresses to total blindness. Color blindness, an hereditary problem, is an inability to distinguish colors, most commonly red and green. Snow blindness is a temporary condition resulting from a burn of the cornea caused by the reflection of sunlight on snow. Night blindness results from a deficiency of vitamin A. See eye.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Blindness: Selected full-text books and articles

On Blindness By Rodas, Julia Miele Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2, July 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Coping with Blindness: Personal Tales of Blindness Rehabilitation By Alvin Roberts Southern Illinois University Press, 1998
Employer Attitudes towards Persons Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: Perspectives and Recommendations from Vocational Rehabilitation Personnel By McDonnall, Michele Capella; Zhou, Li; Crudden, Adele The Journal of Rehabilitation, Vol. 79, No. 3, July-September 2013
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Young People with Visual Impairments in Difficult Situations By Konarska, Joanna Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, Vol. 35, No. 7, August 10, 2007
Hope and Social Support in Adults Who Are Legally Blind at a Training Center By Singletary, Caitlin; Goodwyn, Mary Ann; Carter, Alice P Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Vol. 103, No. 8, August 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Out of Sight: A Personal Journey through Ten Months of Blindness By Hyman, Helen Kandel Generations, Vol. 27, No. 1, Spring 2003
Tactile Sensitivity and Braille Reading in People with Early Blindness and Late Blindness By Oshima, Kensuke; Arai, Tetsuya; Ichihara, Shigeru; Nakano, Yasushi Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Vol. 108, No. 2, March-April 2014
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Critical Issues Confronting the Blindness Field: Can Providers and Consumers Agree? By Augusto, Carl R Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Vol. 102, No. 8, August 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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