Volume No 33 Issue No 1

The Frequency and Causes of Visual Impairment and Blindness among Middle and Older Population

Purpose: To estimate the frequency and causes of visual impairment and blindness in middle and older age groups. Study Design: Retrospective study (hospital based data). Place and Duration of Study: Eye department of Dow university hospital (Ojha campus), Dow international medical college, Dow university of health sciences, Karachi, Pakistan from January 2010 to October 2010. Material and Methods: 1000 subjects of aged ? 40 years were included in the study. We collected data from previous records in which patients had undergone complete ophthalmic examination including visual assessment by using Snellenís visual acuity chart, examining the anterior segment by slit lamp and dilated fundoscopy through slit lamp biomicroscopy with 90D lens. The causes of visual impairment and blindness were recorded from collected medical data. Statistical analysis was done by SPSS version 21. Results: The 1000 subjects records were analyzed. The frequency of visual impairment and blindness were 142 (14.2%) and 49 (4.9%) respectively. Major causes of visual impairment were cataract 61 (43.0%) and refractive errors 44 (31.0%). Refractive errors 19 (38.8%) and cataract 18 (36.7%) were the main causes of blindness. There was a significant difference for the causes of visual impairment and blindness with normal individuals (p-value < 0.01). Conclusion: The burden of visual impairment and blindness remains a major health problem in our society and government need to establish multiple policies and programs to prevent and control the visual impairment and blindness. Key words: Causes, visual impairment, blindness.

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