Childhood sight impairment: a 10-year picture

Journal Article


INTRODUCTION: Registering a child as visually impaired is a potentially traumatic, but necessary, milestone in paediatric ophthalmology. Registration enables the provision of services essential to maximise the child's potential. PURPOSE: This study was carried out to investigate the changes over a 10-year period in the rates of registration of childhood blindness at a tertiary paediatric ophthalmology department. Particular attention was given to diagnosis, whether the disease was preventable, time to registration, age at registration, and the socioeconomic status of the patient's family. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of all children registered blind or partially sighted over a 10-year period until December 2006. RESULTS: A total of 256 children were registered blind or partially sighted over the 10 years. All cases were analysed. Of these, 58.2% were male and the average age at registration was 76 months; 52.0% were registered as severely sight-impaired. The most common primary diagnosis was cerebral visual impairment (CVI) in 27% cases, followed by optic atrophy in 16%, and the commonest anatomical site involved was the retina in 30.9%. An average of 25.6 (SD 8.0) registrations were carried out each year. The number of registrations per year is increasing. Seven cases (2.7%) were deemed avoidable and 61 cases (23.8%) were deemed potentially treatable. The mean index of multiple deprivation (IMD) score for the English cases (45.1) was significantly higher than of the surrounding area (P


Eye (Lond)Eye (Lond)



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Durnian, J M<br/>Cheeseman, R<br/>Kumar, A<br/>Raja, V<br/>Newman, W<br/>Chandna, A<br/>eng<br/>England<br/>Eye (Lond). 2010 Jan;24(1):112-7. doi: 10.1038/eye.2009.32. Epub 2009 Feb 27.