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Epidemiology, aetiology and management of visual impairment in children
  1. Ameenat Lola Solebo1,2,3,
  2. Jugnoo Rahi1,2,4,5,6
  1. 1MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  2. 2Ulverscroft Vision Research Group, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  3. 3Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Kent
  4. 4Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, NIHR Great Ormond Street Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
  5. 5Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London, UK
  6. 6Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor J Rahi, MRC Centre of Epidemiology of Child Health, University College London Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK; j.rahi{at}


An estimated 19 million of the world's children are visually impaired, while 1.4 million are blind. Using the UK as a model for high income countries, from a population-based incidence study, the annual cumulative incidence of severe visual impairment/blindness (SVL/BL) is estimated to be 6/10 000 by age 15 years, with the incidence being highest in the first year of life. The population of visually impaired children within high, middle and lower income countries differ considerably between and within countries. The numerous and mainly uncommon disorders which can cause impaired vision result in heterogeneous population which includes a substantial proportion (for SVI/BL, the majority) of children with additional systemic disorders or impairments whose needs differ substantially from those with isolated vision impairment. Paediatricians and other paediatric professionals have a key role in early detection and multidisciplinary management to minimise the impact of visual impairment (VI) in childhood.

  • Vision
  • Low/Epidemiology
  • Blindness/Epidemiology
  • Child
  • Vision Disorders

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