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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 45-49

Prevalence of refractive errors in school-going female children of a rural area of Madhya Pradesh, India

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Sri Aurobindo Medical College and PG Institute, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Sri Aurobindo Medical College and PG Institute, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Nitin Nema
Department of Ophthalmology, Sri Aurobindo Medical College and PG Institute, Indore Ujjain State Highway, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcor.jcor_126_17

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Background and Aim: Uncorrected refractive errors are the second most common cause of blindness after cataract. In previous studies from India, it is reported that majority of the children with blindness were female. Therefore, an obvious need was felt to screen school-going female children from a rural area for the prevalence of refractive error and associated ocular morbidity. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 1322 female students of rural schools. The permission required for screening of the children was obtained from the principal of the school. Students were examined by an ophthalmologist in their respective school premises. A brief history pertaining to eye problem and family history of ocular ailment were recorded. Clinical examination of the eye and refraction under cycloplegia, when needed, were done. Difficult and unmanageable cases were referred to the base hospital for further evaluation. Results: Refractive error was the most common ocular morbidity (38.7%). Myopia was the most common refractive error with a prevalence of 67.1%, followed by hypermetropia (18.8%) and astigmatism (14.1%). There was a decrease in the prevalence rate of visually impaired students to 0.4% (from the initial rate of 10%) after prescribing the spectacles. Other ocular morbidities encountered were strabismus (2.79%) and amblyopia (2.11%). Conclusion: Refractive error was the most prevalent ocular morbidity in the rural school-going girls, followed by strabismus and amblyopia. If properly treated and timely managed, a dramatic decline in the rate of refractive error-related visual disability can be achieved.

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