Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

blindness Related Abstracts

6 Causes of Blindness and Low Vision among Visually Impaired Population Supported by Welfare Organization in Ardabil Province in Iran

Authors: Mohammad Maeiyat, Ali Maeiyat Ivatlou, Rasul Fani Khiavi, Abouzar Maeiyat Ivatlou, Parya Maeiyat


Purpose: Considering the fact that visual impairment is still one of the countries health problem, this study was conducted to determine the causes of blindness and low vision in visually impaired membership of Ardabil Province welfare organization. Methods: The present study which was based on descriptive and national-census, that carried out in visually impaired population supported by welfare organization in all urban and rural areas of Ardabil Province in 2013 and Collection of samples lasted for 7 months. The subjects were inspected by optometrist to determine their visual status (blindness or low vision) and then referred to ophthalmologist in order to discover the main causes of visual impairment based on the international classification of diseases version 10. Statistical analysis of collected data was performed using SPSS software version 18. Results: Overall, 403 subjects with mean age of years participated in this study. 73.2% were blind, 26.8 % were low vision and according gender grouping 60.50 % of them were male, 39.50 % were female that divided into three groups with the age level of lower than 15 (11.2%) 15 to 49 (76.7%), and 50 and higher (12.1%). The age range was 1 to 78 years. The causes of blindness and low vision were in descending order: optic atrophy (18.4%), retinitis pigmentosa (16.8%), corneal diseases (12.4%), chorioretinal diseases (9.4%), cataract (8.9%), glaucoma (8.2%), phthisis bulbi (7.2%), degenerative myopia (6.9%), microphtalmos ( 4%), amblyopia (3.2%), albinism (2.5%) and nistagmus (2%). Conclusion: in this study the main causes of visual impairments were optic atrophy and retinitis pigmentosa, thus specific prevention plans can be effective in reducing the incidence of visual disabilities.

Keywords: welfare, Low Vision, ardabil, blindness

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5 Blindness and Deafness, the Outcomes of Varicella Zoster Virus Encephalitis in HIV Positive Patient

Authors: Hadiseh Hosamirudsari, Farhad Afsarikordehmahin, Pooria Sekhavatfar


Concomitant cortical blindness and deafness that follow varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection is rare. We describe a case of ophthalmic zoster that caused cortical blindness and deafness after central nervous system (CNS) involvement. A 42-year old, HIV infected woman has developed progressive blurry vision and deafness, 4 weeks after ophthalmic zoster. A physical examination and positive VZV polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) suggested VZV encephalitis. Complication of VZV encephalitis is considered as the cause of blindness and deafness. In neurological deficit patient especially with a history of herpes zoster, VZV infection should be regarded as the responsible agent in inflammatory disorders of nervous system. The immunocompromised state of patient (including HIV) is as important an agent as VZV infection in developing the disease.

Keywords: HIV, Deafness, blindness, VZV encephalitis

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4 From Lack of Humanity to Self-Consciousness and Vision in Lord of the Flies and Blindness

Authors: Maryam Sadeghi


Civilization and industrialization are two important factors that make people believe they are just depriving of savagery and brutality. But practical studies show exactly something different. How groups of people behave, when they are put in extreme situations is the very unpleasant truth about the human being in general. Both novels deal with the fragility of human society, no matter the people who are playing a role are children or grown-ups, who by definition should know better. Both novels have got beautiful plots in which no one enforces rules and laws on the characters, so they begin to show their true nature. The present study is undertaken to investigate the process of a journey from lack of humanity to a sort of self-consciousness which happens at the end of both Blindness by Saramago and Lord of the Flies by Golding. In order to get the best result the two novels have been studied precisely and lots of different articles and critical essays have been analyzed, which shows people drift into cruelty and savagery easily but can also drift out of it. In blindness losing sight, and being apart from society in a deserted tropical island in Lord of the Flies causes limitation. Limitation in any form makes people rebel. Although in the process of both novels, any kind of savagery, brutality, filth, and social collapse can be observable and both writers believe that human being has the potential of being animal images, but they both also want to show that the very nature of human being is divine. Children’s weeping at the end Lord of the Flies and Doctor’s remark at the end of Blindness “I don’t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, blind but seeing, blind people who can see but do not see”, show exactly the matter of insight at the end of the novels. The fact that divinity exists in the very nature of human being is the indubitable aim that makes this research truly valuable.

Keywords: blindness, brutality, lack of humanity, savagery

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3 Attention and Memory in the Music Learning Process in Individuals with Visual Impairments

Authors: Lana Burmistrova


Introduction: The influence of visual impairments on several cognitive processes used in the music learning process is an increasingly important area in special education and cognitive musicology. Many children have several visual impairments due to the refractive errors and irreversible inhibitors. However, based on the compensatory neuroplasticity and functional reorganization, congenitally blind (CB) and early blind (EB) individuals use several areas of the occipital lobe to perceive and process auditory and tactile information. CB individuals have greater memory capacity, memory reliability, and less false memory mechanisms are used while executing several tasks, they have better working memory (WM) and short-term memory (STM). Blind individuals use several strategies while executing tactile and working memory n-back tasks: verbalization strategy (mental recall), tactile strategy (tactile recall) and combined strategies. Methods and design: The aim of the pilot study was to substantiate similar tendencies while executing attention, memory and combined auditory tasks in blind and sighted individuals constructed for this study, and to investigate attention, memory and combined mechanisms used in the music learning process. For this study eight (n=8) blind and eight (n=8) sighted individuals aged 13-20 were chosen. All respondents had more than five years music performance and music learning experience. In the attention task, all respondents had to identify pitch changes in tonal and randomized melodic pairs. The memory task was based on the mismatch negativity (MMN) proportion theory: 80 percent standard (not changed) and 20 percent deviant (changed) stimuli (sequences). Every sequence was named (na-na, ra-ra, za-za) and several items (pencil, spoon, tealight) were assigned for each sequence. Respondents had to recall the sequences, to associate them with the item and to detect possible changes. While executing the combined task, all respondents had to focus attention on the pitch changes and had to detect and describe these during the recall. Results and conclusion: The results support specific features in CB and EB, and similarities between late blind (LB) and sighted individuals. While executing attention and memory tasks, it was possible to observe the tendency in CB and EB by using more precise execution tactics and usage of more advanced periodic memory, while focusing on auditory and tactile stimuli. While executing memory and combined tasks, CB and EB individuals used passive working memory to recall standard sequences, active working memory to recall deviant sequences and combined strategies. Based on the observation results, assessment of blind respondents and recording specifics, following attention and memory correlations were identified: reflective attention and STM, reflective attention and periodic memory, auditory attention and WM, tactile attention and WM, auditory tactile attention and STM. The results and the summary of findings highlight the attention and memory features used in the music learning process in the context of blindness, and the tendency of the several attention and memory types correlated based on the task, strategy and individual features.

Keywords: Attention, Strategy, Memory, blindness, music learning

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2 Characterization of Optical Systems for Intraocular Projection

Authors: Charles Q. Yu, Victoria H. Fan, Ahmed F. Al-Qahtani, Ibraim Viera


Introduction: Over 12 million people are blind due to opacity of the cornea, the clear tissue forming the front of the eye. Current methods use plastic implants to produce a clear optical pathway into the eye but are limited by a high rate of complications. New implants utilizing completely inside-the-eye projection technology can overcome blindness due to scarring of the eye by producing images on the retina without need for a clear optical pathway into the eye and may be free of the complications of traditional treatments. However, the interior of the eye is a challenging location for the design of optical focusing systems which can produce a sufficiently high quality image. No optical focusing systems have previously been characterized for this purpose. Methods: 3 optical focusing systems for intraocular (inside the eye) projection were designed and then modeled with ray tracing software, including a pinhole system, a planoconvex, and an achromatic system. These were then constructed using off-the-shelf components and tested in the laboratory. Weight, size, magnification, depth of focus, image quality and brightness were characterized. Results: Image quality increased with complexity of system design, as did weight and size. A dual achromatic doublet optical system produced the highest image quality. The visual acuity equivalent achieved with this system was better than 20/200. Its weight was less than that of the natural human crystalline lens. Conclusions: We demonstrate for the first time that high quality images can be produced by optical systems sufficiently small and light to be implanted within the eye.

Keywords: Cornea, blindness, focusing, projection, achromatic, pinhole

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1 How Did a Blind Child Begin Understanding Her “Blind Self”?: A Longitudinal Analysis Of Conversation between Her and Adults

Authors: Masahiro Nochi


This study explores the process in which a Japanese child with congenital blindness deepens understanding of the condition of being “unable to see” and develops the idea of “blind self,” despite having no direct experience of vision. The rehabilitation activities of a child with a congenital visual impairment that were video-recorded from 1 to 6 years old were analyzed qualitatively. The duration of the video was about 80 hours. The recordings were transcribed verbatim, and the episodes in which the child used the words related to the act of “looking” were extracted. Detailed transcripts were constructed referencing the notations of conversation analysis. Characteristics of interactions in those episodes were identified and compared longitudinally. Results showed that the child used the expression "look" under certain interaction patterns and her body expressions and interaction with adults developed in conjunction with the development of language use. Four stages were identified. At the age of 1, interactions involving “look” began to occur. The child said "Look" in the sequence: the child’s “Look,” an adult’s “I’m looking,” certain performances by the child, and the adult’s words of praise. At the age of 3, the child began to behave in accordance with the spatial attributes of the act of "looking," such as turning her face to the adult’s voice before saying, “Look.” She also began to use the expression “Keep looking,” which seemed to reflect her understanding of the temporality of the act of “looking.” At the age of 4, the use of “Look” or “Keep looking” became three times more frequent. She also started to refer to the act of looking in the future, such as “Come and look at my puppy someday.” At the age of 5, she moved her hands toward the adults when she was holding something she wanted to show them. She seemed to understand that people could see the object more clearly when it was in close priximity. About that time, she began to say “I cannot see” to her mother, which suggested a heightened understanding of her own blindness. The findings indicate that as she grew up, the child came to utilize nonverbal behavior before and after the order "Look" to make the progress of the interaction with adults even more certain. As a result, actions that reflect the characteristics of the sighted person's visual experience were incorporated into the interaction chain. The purpose of "Look," with which she intended to attract the adult's attention at first, changed and became something that requests a confirmation she was unable to make herself. It is considered that such a change in the use of the word as well as interaction with sighted adults reflected her heightened self-awareness as someone who could not do what sighted people could do easily. A blind child can gradually deepen their understanding of their own characteristics of blindness among sighted people around them. The child can also develop “blind self” by learning how to interact with others even without direct visual experiences.

Keywords: Child Development, Conversation Analysis, self-concept, blindness

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