Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 30: Blindness and Difficulty Seeing

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.


HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 30: Blindness and Difficulty Seeing


Difficulty with seeing can be mild, moderate, or severe. When a person sees very little or nothing, we say he is blind. Some children are completely blind; they cannot see anything. However, most blind children can see a little. Some can only see the difference between light and dark or day and night, but cannot see any shapes of things. Others can see shapes of large objects, but none of the details.

Many more children are not blind but do have some problem seeing things clearly. For example, they may see fairly well for most daily activities, but have trouble seeing details. The family may not realize that the child has a seeing problem until they notice she has difficulty threading a needle, finding head lice, or reading letters on the blackboard at school. Often these children can see much better with eyeglasses or a magnifying glass. (Children who are completely blind cannot see at all, even with eyeglasses.)

Some children are born blind. Others become blind during early childhood, or later.


a drawing of a donkey, a tree, and the sun.
the same drawing with much less detail.
the same drawing showing only the brightest part.
a black square instead of the drawing.
what a child with normal sight can see what a partly blind child may see (large forms but no details) what a child sees who can only tell the direction a bright light is coming from what a completely blind child sees
CAUTION! Not all children who are blind have eyes that look different. Their eyes may took clear and normal. The damage may be behind the eyes or in part of the brain. So be sure to watch for other signs that can tell you if a child has difficulty seeing.




This page was updated:19 Jan 2018