Oculo-visual status of the welders in the Capricorn District of the Limpopo Province of South Africa*
African Vision and Eye Health
The process of welding can lead to several ocular disorders when adequate protective precautions are not taken. There is a possibility that welders in the Limpopo Province of South Africa are not taking adequate precautions due to lack of knowledge on the adverse effects of welding. Good vision is also important for effective and injury-free welding. This study therefore screened welders in the Capricorn district of the Limpopo Province for oculo-visual disorders. Case history established
... y established visual symptoms among the welders and ophthalmic tests such as visual acuity (VA) measurement, pinhole, ophthalmoscopy, external assessment of the adnexa and Amsler grid were used to determine their oculo-visual status. One hundred and fifty welders were included in the study and their ages ranged from 18 to 65 years with a mean of 39 ± 14.9 years. Reduced distance vision was reported by 32% of the welders, 14% reported reduced vision at near; 43% reported double vision and 11% reported colour vision anomaly. Forty seven percent of the welders had VA less than 6/6 at distanceand 8% could only read 1M or larger print at near Following the pinhole test, there was no improvement in 7% of the welders who had VA less than 6/6, indicating a possibility of pathological conditions. Amsler grid showed that 6% of the welders had possible macular disorders. Ophthalmoscopy and external observations revealed that 7% of the welders had cup disc ratio (H/V) of more than 0.6/0.5, Fourteen percentage (14%) had pterygia and 5% had pinguecula. The study established that although many of the welders had normal oculo visual status, there were a few with ocular disorders which warrant further assessment and managemenby eye care professionals.