Provision Of Low Vision Service In The Department Of Ophthalmology University Of Calabar Teaching Hospital

Ekpenyong, B. N. and Ndukwe, O. C.


A low vision service is a variety of services being offered to visually impaired persons. This includes the assessment of residual vision and needs, and the identification of ways and means to address the problem. This paper describes the provision of low vision services in the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH). The clinical records of low vision patients seen at the Low Vision unit of the eye clinic from January 2008 to December 2009 were reviewed. A total of seventy-four (74) low vision patients were assessed over the said period. About 75.68% of the low vision patients were male. Approximately 50% were 50 years and above and the causes of low vision were glaucoma (33.33%), corrected and uncorrected cataract (14.67%), retinal dystrophies(13.33%) and maculopathy (8.0%). The most common visual acuity range after low vision assessment was <6/18 6/60 (58.57%), but only 30.40% of the prescribed low vision devices were dispensed. The basic challenges faced include poor acceptance of the use of devices due to cosmetic reasons, durability and cost, lack of adequate referral and ignorance.

Keywords: Low vision services, Residual vision, Low vision assessment, Retinal dystrophies.

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