Loss of Vision and Hearing

In: Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd edition. Washington (DC): The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank; 2006. Chapter 50.


Although the loss of vision and hearing has multiple causes, and the burden of these diseases is complex, three major points emerge from the outset:

  1. Impairments of the essential senses of vision and hearing contribute to early demise and are important causes of morbidity for individuals who are blind or deaf.

  2. Cost-effective interventions are available to address several causes of these burdens now.

  3. The number of cost-effectiveness analyses of interventions to preserve hearing or vision in developing countries is quite limited.

Table 50.1 summarizes the conditions causing the sensory deficits, the proposed interventions and sites of delivery, and the cost and effectiveness of these interventions to the extent of current knowledge. Earlier work by Evans and others (1996) in Myanmar does not appear because the cost data are quite old and because the cost-effectiveness data were in dollars per case of blindness averted rather than dollars per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted, which the latest information provides.

Publication types

  • Review