Many of you wondering the cause of musical genius Ray Charles' blindness have been driven to my post Don't be blind to this..., but that's not the answer you're looking for on this...
I'm not quite sure if it's officially documented anywhere, but the cause of Ray Charles' blindness is believed to have been glaucoma.
Update: 7.4.05: Mark Condell, O.D. adds this...
Ah .... while most web searches identify Charles' cause of blindness as due to glaucoma, a few sites, including those of ABC and PBS, state it is not precisely known what the cause of blindness was. The movie "Ray" depicts a classic clinical presentation of a different disease called "trachoma", an infectious disease found in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions with limited access to water. While mostly eradicated from the U.S., trachoma remains to be the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world. The causative organism, Chlamydia, a bacteria, is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. with over 600,000 new cases per year in California alone. Trachoma is most likely the cause of Charles' blindness as childhood glaucoma is exceptionally rare. The clinical portrayal in the movie is accurate for trachoma with the chronic irritated eyes discharging pus. Glaucoma usually does not cause pain or irritation and certainly no discharge.
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