The 13 Causes of Low Vision and Blindness in Rural Indonesia : Social and Medical Approaches

As humans, we are blessed with so many things God gives to us. Aside from giving us wealth, He also gives us the more important things, our senses. We have five main senses, touch, hearing, sight, taste, and also smell. All of them are, of course, really important to our life, especially the eyes.

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With them, we can see how the world actually is. We can absorb information from books. That’s why we need to keep it. However, in rural Indonesia, the level of low vision problems is higher than in the cities. Today, in this article we want to mention some of the causes of low vision and blindness in rural Indonesia.

1 – Don’t have enough education

Let’s start the list of the causes of low vision and blindness in rural Indonesia with the condition in rural Indonesia before approaching to more scientific way. The first one on the list is the main reason in general of why people in rural areas tend to have more diseases than people who live in cities, education.

Health education is really important because we can not apart from our life. We can not disagree that people who live in villages have fewer media to get an information, even though these days technology is everything. The reason behind this is because the reach of information is still limited.

2 – Not enough medical treatment

Usually, in the cities you will find some hospitals both the national or private hospitals. There are also specialists for curing specific problem in your body. But, things are different in the rural areas, especially in developing countries like Indonesia. You can see a contrast between the development in cities and those areas.

The problems occur because of how hard to reach the village. Vehicles sometimes can’t even pass the road because of the road condition which is far from good. This bad problem can cause the hardness to build and develop a medical treatment center that can facilitate the village people to cure their diseases, including the eye problems.

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3 – Generalizing all the diseases

A disease can be really different from the others. The treatment for it can also be different, depends on the condition of the person. For example, the treatment for a person who has influenza, but with different symptoms, he will certainly get a totally different treatment with the additional medicines to save his life.

However, generalizing things is not a rare thing to find in Indonesia, especially people who live in the country. They tend to think that, on thing can be simpler than it is. Making anything seems to be light and easy, even though it’s not. If they have a symthomps about eye problems, some of them may think that it’s a regular disease.

4 – Family gene

One thing that you should know about Blindness and Low vision is it can be brought up through generations. If the parents, or one of them, have the blindness, their kids will also have it in the future. It needs some ways to prevent it to happen to their kids, so they can decrease the risk of it.

However, not only blindness, the other eye problems can also be carried out. For example, if your dad or mm has minus eyes or eye cylinder, you can also have the same thing. This happens in more than seventy percent of the cases. So the probability is high enough to say that family gene can also determine the cause.

5 – Hard to reach nearby cities

As you may know already, roads in the rural or village areas are not always good. The government will tend to give extra care to the central first, then outside. If the government happens to be a good one, they can make an improvement to those rural areas in the future, if that’s possible.

But when it’s not, the cause of the diseases because of how hard to reach the decent places to cure them can’t be avoided anymore. Because of how hard it is to reach the nearby cities, some people tend to give a rest to their body, believing that their disease will be gone in a short time.

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6 – Afraid of how expensive the treatment is

And the next one in the causes of low vision and blindness in rural Indonesia is about the price. The medical world can’t be said to be affordable. To be able to cure certain diseases, one needs to pay a lot of money, just to be alive. For the people who have lower economic capabilities, this seems horrifying.

Because of lack of information about the disease treatment, the people in villages think that curing their eye problems will need a lot of money. Especially when they imagine the word “Operation”, which sounds and seems to be an expensive practice. We can’t argue with their point, remembering their capabilities as rural areas inhabitants.

7 – Gadget

These days, smartphones are the things that commonly seen. Everyone uses it, and have fun with it. With one in their hand, they can get entertainment, education, and also a future investment. They can install apps, whether they are productive or not, and some games to get rid of stress.

However, the usage of gadget, especially for a long period of time is a terrible cause of low vision, especially for kids and teenagers.

8 – Macular Degeneration

For eye problems, age also can be a cause. When a person is getting older and reaching sixty or maybe seventy, he/she will have degenerated macula. This condition is caused by missing sensor cell for detecting light, causing blur sight and even blindness. Because of this, the old people tend to spend their time at home.

Most of them have trouble when walking because they can’t see clearly. Staying at home will more safe than walking outside with confusion.

9 – Glaucoma

One thing to remember in the causes of low vision and blindness in rural Indonesia is glaucoma. Glaucoma can cause blindness, not in a short period of them, but for a longer term. You can call it a slow black. Glaucoma happens because of an increase of liquid in either left or right eye. This increasing can greatly harm retina and other sensors.

Even though this disease can’t be cured completely, but it can be halted with operation and regular checkup.

10 – Diabetic Retinopathy

Another cause to the eye problems, especially the blindness is diabetes. Diabetes is the condition when our body has so much sugar contained inside. In general, eating foods carelessly, especially foods that have so much calory and sweet in them can eventually give you Diabetes.

When the effect of Diabetes reaches your eyes, it can cause this diabetic retinopathy. Operation is needed to save the eyes before it’s too late.

11 – Retinis Pigmentosa

This cause affects 1,6 million people out there around the globe. Considered as an uncommon disease, this cause actually a disease from family gene. One generation carries out the same thing to the next. Retinis Pigmentosa actually almost the same as Diabetic Retinopathy, which is caused by loss of photoreceptor.

Even though there’s no cure for this disease yet, but a mocular genetic therapy can give a little hint of hope.

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12 – Trachoma

Another serious problem can cause the blindness is Trachoma. This disease is not a family-gene related disease but included as spreading or contaminating disease. One can be infected by Chlamydia Trachomati bacteria via touching or using anything from a person that has Trachoma, like clothing or gloves.

However, you can also get Trachoma by getting direct contact with liquid from nose and eyes of the infected.

13 – Cataract

And the last one on the causes of low vision and blindness in rural Indonesia, which is also a common thing to find in the country is Cataract. Cataract is the condition when retina is fully covered with white-thick thingy that makes your sight blur and eventually leads to blindness if that’s not treated immediately.

To cure Cataract, the people need to take a laser operation to get rid of the problem, so the patient can see clearly again.