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  1. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Causes of Blindness

    Discussion in 'Research' started by JTheGreat, May 19, 2010.

    In my story, the protagonist will most likely be blind. Most likely. It depends on if that's a cliche now or not.

    Anyway, he contracts the disability at an early age. I've been to all the big sites, and I can't quite find an illness that would cause blindness in a boy of his age. I've read a books where the sister contracted blindness from scarlet fever, but I can't find any proof behind that.

    I'll keep looking around, but if you guys and girls and AI's have any ideas, please let me know. Thanks!
     
  2. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's unusual in the Western world for children to go blind because often the conditions and infections are treatable, and children have regular eye tests so problems are diagnosed early.

    I have known three young people who are severely visually impaired. One was as a result of her mother contracting German Measles (Rubella) when she was pregnant, but she also has hearing and learning difficulties as well. Innoculation usually rules out this problem, but the country where I live it isn't compulsory for young girls to have the rubella jab, they usually have it when they get married and some people don't think of it if their doctor doesn't advise them.

    The second person is blind in one eye with reduced sight in the other. He suffered from Malaria when he was a child. He was in Tanzania with his parents, who were voluntary workers there. However, this happened during the 1960s, I think there is better treatment and awareness now.

    The third one is a student at our uni. She is wheelchair bound and has some kind of progressive muscular degeneration which is making her sight deteriorate.

    There are all sorts of accident scenarios which could cause blindness as well as unusual hereditory congenital conditions. And premature babies can be blind, I think.
     
  3. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unsure on the exact types but plenty of parasitic worms and carried by rats, dogs, snails etc can cause blindness if untreated. Try roundworm in the West, or a variety of flatworms (flukes) in Africa or Asia.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Exposure to an intense flash of light could do it, so could a chemical burn like drain cleaner splashing into the eyes. Foreign objects in the eye, like shattered glass or thown-up metal filings from power tools, can damage the eyes beyond repair.

    If you google causes of blindness, you can find a wealth of information as well.
     
  5. hyperspace!
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    This is really vague and probably no help at all, but I'll share anyway:

    The section of the brain that controls vision (or whatever, I haven't made it to my anatomy class in like 3 months) is in the back, and if you get hit there hard enough you'll go blind for a few seconds. Maybe the right kind of head-injury would cause permanent blindness? There'd probably br some kinda brain-damage, too, though. Might wanna check that out.
     
  6. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    Genetically inherited visual impairment?
     
  7. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    Cholera I think, although I'm not entirely sue so don't take my word for it.

    Besides, cholera is and incredibly rare thing in modern society.
     
  8. Anonym
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    Here ya go, a congenital, genetic cause of blindness: Leber's congenital amaurosis

    i'm not sure you want your character to have nystagmus, although it doesn't necessarily sound ubiquitous to the condition. meh

    Hope it helps
     
  9. ToxicWaste
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    ToxicWaste Member

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    It could be trachoma, depending on where the child was born. The germ Chlamydia trachomatis. However, this type of infection is really common in third world countries where fly infestations can spread it easily. The bacterial infection is limited to the eye, normally, and is spread via fluid discharge. It can be treated with simple antibiotic eye drops, but medical care is lacking in the third world.
     
  10. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Macular degeneration. I heard a story about a little girl getting that. Google it, I'm sure there's more information out there. It causes you to gradually go blind and it's irreversible, as far as I know.
     

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