New Delhi, Apr 7: With 7.8 million blind people in India, the country accounts for 20 per cent of the 39 million blind population across the globe, of which 62 per cent are on account of cataract, 19.7 per cent refractive error, 5.8 per cent glaucoma and one per cent corneal blindness.
This was disclosed on the inaugural day of the three-day conference on "Future of Ophthalmology, Today" organised at Hotel Ashok by Delhi Ophthalmological Society to discuss the major causes of blindness and visual impairment and create awareness about it.
Experts said that of the total blind population in the country, 4.7 per cent accounted for diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration.
It was also disclosed that a total of 285 million visually impaired were also present in the country, who had some form of disabilities.
Experts said among the causes of blindness, many were curable if proper detection was done in time and added that while cataract was the most common cause, Refractive error is also another most common cause of visual disabilities and affects nearly 25 per cent of general population.
While delegates from across the country are participating, broad-based sessions in the conference will cover all fields including basics and advances in the various sub-specialities of cataract, glaucoma, cornea, retina, uvea, squint, neurophthalmology, ophthalmoplasty, ocular trauma, research methodology and community ophthalmology.
The main objective of Delhi Ophthalmological Society is to utilize its manpower and available resources for reducing the burden of blindness in the community, where childhood blindness and diabetic retinopathy have been identified as two key priorities for intervention.
It is estimated that prevalence of Childhood blindness in India is 0.8/1000 children in <16 years age group, implying a total of 300,000 blind children in our country.