September 27

What is the Leading Cause of Blindness in US Children?

Definition of Blindness

Blindness as defined by the U.S. definition is the best-corrected visual acuity of 6/60 or worse (=20/200) in the better-seeing eye. Blindness is defined by U.S. definition 20/200 best-corrected visual acuity in the better-seeing eye and the World Health Organization standard of < 20/400.

Blindness in US Children

For children in higher income countries such as the United States, cerebral visual impairment and optic nerve anomalies remain the most common causes of severe visual impairment and blindness. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and cataract are now the most common avoidable causes in nations such as the US, with good access to healthcare and preventative resources.


Solebo AL, Teoh L, Rahi J. Epidemiology of blindness in children. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2017;102(9):853–857. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2016-310532.

Bailey RN, Indian RW, Zhang X, Geiss LS, Duenas MR, Saaddine JB (2006). Visual impairment and eye care among older adults—five states. MMWR 2005:55:49; 1321–1325.


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