Prevalence and Causes of Visual Impairment in Ekiti, Nigeria: A Hospital Based Study
Open Access Journal of Ophthalmology
Visual impairment is a global burden. The negative impact extends from the immediate family to the society at large. The causes vary with geographic, ethnic and cultural influences. Most data used for planning eye care services are generated either from urban areas where the large eye hospitals are situated or from small focal surveys. Effective use of existing resources is mandatory in targeting the avoidable causes of blindness in order to achieve the goals of Vision 2020. Objectives: This
... dy was conducted to determine the prevalence, demographic profiles and causes of visual impairment in a tertiary eye care facility in a semi urban southwestern state of Nigeria Methodology: A descriptive study was carried out to determine the causes of visual impairment seen over a period of 1year (January-December 2016). Records of all new cases with visual acuity below 6/18 in one or both eyes were studied. Demographic characteristics, level and causes of visual impairment were extracted and entered into Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20.0). Data were analysed and assessed for frequency, distribution and comparison of categorical data with statistical significance inferred at P<0.05. Results: Visual impairment constituted 445(33.97%) of the total number of new patients seen. The ages ranged from 2years to 105years with a mean age of 53.6years ±23.6years.More females were seen with a Male: Female ratio of 1:1.1. Blindness constituted 42.9% of cases of blind eyes at presentation. Bilateral blindness occurred in 100 patients (22.5%) of cases. There was an observed greater risk of visual impairment among patients with unilateral eye disorders (3.758(95% CI 3.075-4.594) chi square <0.001). The major causes of visual impairment were Cataract (29.7%), Glaucoma (!7.8%), Refractive error(11.2%), Retinal disorders(13.2%) and corneal disorders(10.8%). Conclusion: Consistently good optical and cataract surgical services will go a long way to reduce the burden of visual impairment in Ekiti. There is also a need for improved retinal service delivery as retinal disorders have been found to be on the increase as a cause of visual impairment. Low vision services should be made available for patients.