Registration of new blindness in Singapore for 1985-1995

Singapore Med J. 1998 Mar;39(3):104-6.


Data on causes of blindness in Singapore from blind registration have been gathered yearly since 1950, when blind registration in Singapore was first started. The blind register is maintained by the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), based on reports from practising ophthalmologists in the government institutions. Ophthalmologists in the private sector (who also attend to the bulk of patients coming from overseas) do not register their blind patients. During the past four decades (from 1950 till 1990), analyses of our causes of blindness have been published by various local authors, quoting data from the blind register at the SAVH. These reports showed that our pattern of blindness reflected predictably the trend already observed in the developed countries, viz a shift from infections to congenital and age-related causes. This trend is in keeping with the impact of affluence on the economic and social environment, resulting in better health services and the prevention of avoidable diseases. Updated but hitherto unpublished new blind registrations in Singapore for 1985-1995 confirm the now established trend. As of now (in 1995), retinal diseases is the ranking cause (57.6%), followed by congenital and developmental disorders (14.7%), optic atrophy (9.3%), glaucoma (8.6%) and minor causes (1%).

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Blindness / congenital
  • Blindness / epidemiology*
  • Blindness / etiology
  • Blindness / prevention & control
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Eye Infections / epidemiology
  • Glaucoma / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmology
  • Optic Atrophy / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Retinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Voluntary Health Agencies