Low vision in children and adolescents Hospital-based study

Akpalaba, R. U. E. And Idogho, O. B.


One thousand five hundred clinical records were chosen from the Medical Records Department of the eye clinic, Central Hospital, Benin, Edo State between 2000 and 2004 by cluster random sampling method. Data were classified according to the different etiologies of low vision, gender, congenital and acquired causes, anterior and posterior anomalies and according to the World Health Organization’s classification. Of the 246 found aged below 20yrs, 37 (15.04%) had low vision. The prevalence of low vision was thus 15.04%. The leading cause of low vision was cataract (23.32%). Myopia and optic atrophy contributed 16.22% respectively, aphakia/dislocated lens, 13.51%. retinitis pigmentosa 10.81%, macula
degeneration 5.41%, glaucoma and nystagmus 2.70% respectively and the unknown cause 8.11%. 64.86% had moderate low vision, 10.81% was in the profound low vision group, 13.51% was in the near-total blindness group, while 7.92% had a unilateral loss of vision. 15.76% of males were involved while females were 43.24%. The acquired anomaly was 1(2.70%) and posterior segment anomalies were 22(59.46%) respectively. A significant difference was found between the congenital causes of low vision and the acquired (P>0.05), congenital causes lead to more low vision cases. There was no significant difference in the sexes (P<0.05). There was also no significant difference in anterior and posterior segment anomalies as the causes of low vision (P<0.05). Therefore the cause of low vision in children and adolescents were largely preventable.

Keywords: Low vision, Children, Cataract, Myopia, Congenital anomalies.

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