A cross sectional study to assess the prevalence of refractive error and other visual morbidities in school going children
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 9, Pages 3660-3665
AbstractBackground: Childhood visual impairment due to refractive errors is a significant but avoidable problem. Uncorrected refractive errors in school children have a considerable impact on their physical and mental development. So screening school children helps in early detection and timely interventions can improve child's potential tremendously during the formative years.
Aim: To determine the Prevalence of refractive error and the eye morbidity in school children in Bihar, India.
Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in the Department of ophthalmology, Jawahar Lal Nehru medical college and Hospital, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India, 15 months. Total 200 children’s were included in this study. The colour card and pin holes were also utilized. WHO criteria of visual acuity <6/18 were taken as visually impaired while <3/60 was taken as blindness. A visual acuity of 6/12 does not usually effect school performance and hence are not considered as visually impaired in the current international literature.
Results: The result showed that students had a mean age of 9.7±2.8 years, with 54% being female. There was a uniform distribution of students except class II which had 16% students. Only 10% students ever had ophthalmic examination. 58 percent had some form of eye problems, watery eye and infections being the most common. More than 79% used non recommended medicines. The proportion of colour blindness was 2% with a 95% confidence interval between 1.127 and 1.124. The proportion of children with refractive errors was 11% with a 95% confidence interval between 9.01 and 9.11. A significant difference was noted between the type of eye problem and sex (p <0.03), boys had more watery eyes while girls had more infection. There was no significant association of frequency of refractive error with class, ethnic group and other variables in this study.
Conclusion: we concluded that the prevalence of refractive error is quite significant. So there is a need to have regular and simple vision testing in school children so that corrective measures may be recommended at the earliest possible.
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