Study of preventable causes of blindness in a tertiary care institute in Lucknow


  • Nidhi Jauhari Department of Ophthalmology, RMLIMS, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  • Deepak Chopra Department of Community Medicine, IIMSR, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  • Siraj Ahmad Department of Community Medicine, IIMSR, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh



Blindness, Visual acuity, Preventable, Cataract, NPCB, WHO


Background: World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, released the estimates which show that approximately 80% of the causes of blindness and severely reduced visual acuity are preventable and avoidable. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of preventable causes of blindness in an OPD setup in the city of Lucknow.

Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study was done from January, 2019 to March, 2019 at the ophthalmology department OPD, Dr Ram Manohar lohia hospital, Lucknow. Patient presenting with complains of Blurring of vision or blindness during the defined OPD days at the study place, sample size- 550. Convenience sampling, all the eligible patients who were attending the OPD on defined days during the study period.  

Results: The current study found the prevalence of blindness in the OPD based patients to be 13.5% and 25% (WHO and NPCB standards) respectively which is higher than the other reported statistics and found cataract to be the single most contributor of cause of blindness in accordance with other literature.

Conclusions: The study demonstrates that even after the implementation of a national program (NPCB), the prevalence of blindness continues to be on the higher side and cataract remains to the most common cause of preventable blindness.


Metrics Loading ...


World Report on Vision, World Health Organization, 2019.

Bourne RRA, Flaxman SR, Braithwaite T. Magnitude, temporal trends, and projections of the global prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2017;5:888-97.

Prajna NV, Rahatmatullah R. Changing trends in intraocular lens acceptance in Tamil Nadu. Ind J Ophthalmol 1995;43:177‑9.

Prajna NV, Venkataswamy G. Cataract blindness‑The Indian Experience. Bull World Health Organ. 2007;79:259‑60.

Neena J, Rachel J, Praveen V, Murthy GV. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in India. PLoS One 2008;3:2867.

Vemparala R, Gupta P. National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) in the 12th Five years plan: An Overview. DJO. 2017;27:290-2.

Wu M, Yip JL, Kuper H. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in Kunming, China. Ophthalmol. 2008;115:969‑74.

Habiyakire C, Kabona G, Courtright P, Lewallen S. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness and cataract surgical services in Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2010;17:90‑4.

Rajavi Z, Katibeh M, Ziaei H, Fardesmaeilpour N, Sehat M, Ahmadieh H, et al. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in Iran. Ophthalmol. 2011;118:1812‑8.

Wadud Z, Kuper H, Polack S, Lindfield R, Akm MR, Choudhary KA, et al. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness and needs assessment of cataract surgical services in Satkhira district, Bangladesh. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006;90:1225‑9.

Xiao B, Kuper H, Guan C, Bailey K, Limburg H. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in three counties, Jiangxi Province, China. Br J Ophthalmol. 2010;94:1437‑42.

Oye JE, Kuper H. Prevalence and causes of blindness and visual impairment in Limbe urban area, south west province, Cameroon. Br J Ophthalmol. 2007;91:1435‑9.

Eusebio C, Kuper H, Polack S, Enconado J, Tongson N, Dionio D, et al. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in Negros Island and Antique district, Phillipines. Br J Ophthalmol. 2007;91:1588‑92.

Chiang F, Kuper H, Lindfield R, Keenan T, Seyam N, Magauran D, et al. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in the occupied Palestinian territories. PLoS One. 2010;5:11854.

Mathenge W, Nkurikiye J, Limburg H, Kuper H. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in Western Rwanda: Blindness in a post conflict setting. PLoS Med. 2007;4:217.

Khandekar R, Mohommad AJ, Raisi AA. Prevalence and causes of blindness and low vision; before and five years after vision 2020 initiatives in Oman: A review. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2007;14:9‑15.

Bettadapura GS, Donthi K, Datti NP, Ranganath BG, Ramaswamy SB, Jayaram TS. Assessment of avoidable blindness using the rapid assessment of avoidable blindness methodology. N Am J Med Sci. 2012;4:389‑93.

Dhake PV, Dole K, Khandekar R, Deshpande M. Prevalence and causes of avoidable blindness and severe visual impairment in a tribal district of Maharashtra, India. Oman J Ophthalmol. 2011;4:129‑34.

Murthy GV, Vashist P, John N, Pokharel G, Ellwein LB. Prevelence and causes of visual impairment and blindness in older adults in an area of India with a high cataract surgical rate. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2010;17:185‑95.

Nirmalan PK, Padmavati A, Thulasiraj RD. Sex inequalities in Cataract blindness burden and surgical services in South India. Br J Ophthalmol. 2003;87:847‑9.

Patil S, Gogate P, Vora S, Ainapure S, Hingane RN, Kulkarni AN, et al. Prevalence, causes of blindness, visual impairment and cataract surgical services in Sindhudurg district on the western coastal strip of India. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2014;62:240-5.

Khanna RC, Pallerla SR, Eeda SS, Gudapati BK, Cassard SD, Rani PK, et al. Population based outcomes of cataract surgery in three tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh, India: Risk factors for poor outcomes. PLoS One. 2012;7:35701.






Original Research Articles