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About childhood blindness

Childhood blindness refers to diseases or conditions that happen in early life, that lead to blindness. Childhood blindness can’t always be treated in the same way as adult blindness, as a child’s eye is smaller and less developed. Specialist training and equipment are often required.

Childhood blindness is a priority because without early intervention, children may lose their sight permanently.

Causes of childhood blindness

There are many causes of childhood blindness, and the main are as follows:

  • A drying out of the cornea, leading to scarring. This is caused by a lack of vitamin A in a child’s diet. When blindness occurs in this way, sight cannot be restored.
  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma

Trachoma and river blindness are potentially blinding diseases which can be contracted during childhood, but are unlikely to cause blindness until the mid teens (river blindness) and early adulthood (trachoma).

You can click here to find out more about our work with childhood blindness.

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