Prevention of Blindness Week 2024

Prevention of Blindness Week 2024

India has the highest population of blind people and a majority of these people are unaware of the root cause of their blindness. The Indian government and many non-government organisations have started many initiatives to raise awareness about the prevention of blindness. Every year, numerous events are organised to observe the Blindness Prevention Week between April 1 and April 7. The National Society for Prevention of Blindness (NSPB) announces a theme for the week every year. However, the Prevention of blindness week 2024 theme is yet to be announced by NSPB.  

In this blog, we will discuss the causes, types and prevention of blindness, but before that let us explore a brief history of the campaigns that were started to raise awareness about blindness.

Prevention of Blindness Week

This initiative was started by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur in 1960 to spread awareness about the factors causing blindness and its prevention. The blindness prevention awareness week aims to 

  • Create awareness about vision care
  • Facilitate access to eye care services for the visually impaired 
  • Provide opportunities for the blind population

World Sight Day

Started by WHO along with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in 1998, World Sight Day is a global campaign observed on the second Thursday of October every year. This year, 10th October will be celebrated as World Sight Day 2024. The last year's campaign focused on vision care at the workplace. It was started with the aim to 

  • Promote vision care 
  • Encourage people to focus on eye health
  • Reduce preventable blindness

What are the Causes of Blindness?

Blindness can be defined as visual disability or the inability to see anything. About 80% of vision impairment is caused due to preventable eye conditions. Most of the time malnutrition, poor health and lack of eye care services contribute to such eye conditions or diseases, which can be easily cured. Some of the most common causes of blindness include:

Refractive Errors

It is a common disorder where the eye cannot focus on an image clearly due to blurred vision. If it is left untreated it can cause vision impairment. Myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism are common refractive errors. A refractive error can be detected easily by an eye check-up and corrected using corrective glasses.


50% of blindness cases in the world are caused due to cataracts. A cataract is the formation of a protein mass in the eye that causes clouding of the eye lens. Common symptoms include blurred vision, sensitivity to light and faded colours. Cataracts start to develop from the age of 45 years. It can be cured by surgery. 

Macular Degeneration Caused by Ageing

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a disease that blurs your vision due to damage to the macula caused by ageing factors. People above the age of 60, people with pre-existing conditions like hypertension, heart conditions, obesity and people who smoke are at risk of macular degeneration. AMD can lead to vision loss if not treated. Its treatment involves medication and surgery depending on the severity of the condition.


Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve is damaged due to high pressure in the eye. The pressure builds up because the fluid inside the eye is not drained properly causing blind spots in the vision. It can be caused due to ageing, heredity, diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure or eye injury. Getting regular eye check-ups and taking your prescribed eye drops without fail are the only ways to prevent it.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which blood vessels in the retina are damaged due to high blood sugar levels. It is seen in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Controlling blood sugar levels and blood pressure can help in preventing diabetic retinopathy. 

What are the 4 Types of Blindness?

In simple terms, blindness is defined as low vision or complete lack of vision. However, blindness is a complex condition classified into different types according to the degree of blindness. Primarily, there are four types of blindness based on visual acuity (clarity of vision).

Moderate Visual Impairment 

It is a non-correctable moderate low vision with different levels of visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200. 

Severe Visual Impairment

It is a visual impairment with visual acuity between 20/200 and 20/400 even after the best possible correction. It disrupts day-to-day activities affecting the quality of life and is also known as legal blindness.

Near Total Blindness 

It means a person has no vision with visual acuity worse than 2/500 but can detect light. So it is near total blindness with light perception.

Total Blindness

It is a total loss of sight with no light perception.  

How can Blindness be Prevented?

Any type of blindness that is caused due to a pre-existing disease, infection, injury or age-related degeneration can be prevented by taking small measures like:

  • Eating a nutritious diet
  • Regular eye check-ups
  • Protecting eyes from sunlight
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Controlling blood sugar levels
  • Reducing screen time
  • Taking timely treatments for age-related eye conditions

Can Blindness be Cured?

There is no cure for blindness, but we can avoid risk factors causing blindness. Most of the visual impairments prevalent today can be corrected with the help of treatment. Care Health insurance comes with health insurance plans that provide coverage for different types of treatments including  cataract surgery, surgeries for critical illnesses or eye ophthalmic treatments covered as per policy terms and conditions. 


Having proper vision is crucial for leading a normal life. It is the most important human sense. Regular eye care is a must to prevent any loss of vision. Additionally, considering the high medical costs it becomes necessary to invest in a health insurance coverage that covers major eye procedures to ensure that you have access to the best eye care and treatment without stressing over the costs. As eye-related complications are prominent mostly in old age, one must consider investing in a senior citizen plan offering coverage for treatments such as cataract, glaucoma and so on. 

>> Also Read: Cataract Surgery and Health Insurance

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

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