To investigate the different causes of vision loss and school-based treatment regimens at Quanzhou Blind School (QBS), China’s largest blind school, in 2008 and 2016.
In 2008, 144 students received comprehensive eye examinations along with a complete family and ophthalmic history; in 2016, 125 students were examined. Vision loss was categorized into visual impairment and blindness classifications based on WHO guidelines. The etiologies of impairment and blindness in 2008 were compared to those in 2016 using the Fisher exact test. The prevalence and type of visual aids were also analyzed during this period.
The leading cause of visual impairment significantly shifted from corneal scarring in 2008 to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in 2016 (P = 0.020). Congenital cataracts remained the leading cause of blindness in 2008 and 2016. In 2016 there was a significant increase in the use of visual aids, with 63.2% of students using them in 2016 compared to 8.3% in 2008 (P = 0.0001).
Between 2008 and 2016, the leading cause of visual impairment shifted from corneal scarring to ROP, while congenital cataracts remained the leading cause of blindness.

Copyright © 2020 American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.