Exploring the Ten Fascinating Facts behind Darkness
Blindness, the most severe form of visual impairment, hinders people's ability to perform everyday tasks and negatively impacts their quality of life. Take a look at these 10 important facts about blindness that you should be aware of.
- Did you know that approximately 2,850 million people worldwide are visually impaired? Out of these, 390 million are blind and 2,460 million have low vision.
- Furthermore, around 90% of visually impaired individuals live in developing countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
- It is crucial to note that a child's visual system starts developing in the womb but is not fully formed until around the age of 2. Thus, issues of blindness can also occur during infancy.
- Legal blindness refers to a level of visual impairment defined by law. It serves to restrict certain activities, such as driving, for safety reasons. Additionally, it determines eligibility for government-funded disability benefits in the form of educational, service, or monetary assistance.
- In the case of legal blindness, vision is reduced to 10 percent of normal. This can be due to either a visual field of less than 20 degrees (extreme tunnel vision), or visual acuity of 20/200 or worse in the better-seeing eye even with corrective lenses.
- Blindness can vary in degrees. Even if someone is legally blind, they may still be able to perceive colors, shapes, and varying levels of light. In fact, only about 10-15 percent of blind individuals experience complete absence of visual perception.
- Blind individuals are just as likely as anyone else to have vivid dreams while sleeping. However, their dreams are dominated by sounds, smells, and tastes, often involving more nightmares. Their sleep is often interrupted by fears of being struck by passing traffic, falling to the ground, or being followed by others.
- Up to 70 percent of individuals who are blind experience non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder. This condition occurs when a person's internal clock is not synchronized with regular sleep patterns, resulting in insomnia at night or excessive daytime sleepiness. Instead of maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, individuals with this disorder will consistently find their sleep times gradually shifting later each day, sometimes by mere minutes but also by hours.
- In the case of total blindness, acquiring certain skills to lead a fulfilling life requires additional effort. Examples of these skills include learning to read Braille, arranging one's living space for easy navigation, adopting distinctive folding methods for different denominations of money, and installing bathroom handrails, among others.
- Up to 80% of blindness can be cured or prevented if we pay attention to symptoms before it becomes too late. To detect eye diseases and prevent vision loss, it is important to have regular eye examinations. If you are diagnosed with specific eye conditions like glaucoma, medication treatment can help in preventing blindness.