Prevention of blindness and deafness

Blindness and Deafness

Sensory impairments is when one of the senses; sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell and/ or spatial awareness is no longer functioning at normal capacity.

ased on available data, the two most commonly encountered sensory impairments are blindness and deafness. They may occur separately, or in combination.

Visual impairment and/or blindness:

  • Visual impairment: Decrease or severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and reduces an individual’s ability to function at specific or all tasks.
  • Blindness: Profound inability to distinguish light from dark, or the total inability to see.
  • 80% of global blindness is preventable.

Hearing loss and/or deafness:

  • Hearing Loss: Decrease in hearing sensitivity of any level is termed as Hearing loss.
  • Deafness: Profound or total loss of hearing in both the ears.
  • Over 50% of causes for hearing loss are preventable.

Both impairments have a profound effect on the life of the affected person, their families and society as a whole. A large number of causes are preventable and many can be treated effectively. Others can be rehabilitated through various measures available, improving their integration into the society.

Contact us

World Health Organization
Prevention of Blindness and Deafness (PBD)
20 Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland
pbd@who.int

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