Refractive Errors: Prevalence and Pattern among Rural Population of Islamabad, Pakistan
Background: Refractive error is the most common cause of correctable visual loss worldwide. Decreased vision due to refractive error can be easily corrected with the help of spectacles, contact lenses and refractive surgery. However, there are 42% of uncorrected refractive errors all over the world. The present study aimed to evaluate different kinds of refractive errors, its prevalence and pattern in patients from rural areas who visited our hospital in the last five years.
Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled 2,138 patients, who visited eye OPD at Rawal Institute of Health Sciences, Islamabad during a period of five years i.e. from September, 2013 to September, 2018. Patients having only refractive error with an age of five years and above were included in the study. All patients had objective refraction with automated refractometer followed by subjective refraction. Data was entered and analyzed in SPSS version 20.0. Chi-square test was used for comparing groups with a P-value of <0.05 considered as statistically significant.
Results: Compound myopic astigmatism was the most common error found in our study population (n=575; 26.9%). The second most frequent complaint was simple myopia (n=501; 23.4%) followed by presbyopia (n=441; 20.6%) and mixed astigmatism (n=235; 11%). Patients with more than one refractive error included 178 (8.3%) with mixed astigmatism and presbyopia and 78 (3.6%) with simple myopia and presbyopia. Compound myopic astigmatism was more prevalent in younger ages compared to older age groups (46.4% vs 19.9%) (P <0.001). Mixed astigmatism (12.4% vs 8.9%), simple myopia (23.8% vs 22.9%) and presbyopia (21.3% vs 19.5%) were slightly greater in females than males (P=0.07), respectively.
Conclusions: The prevalence of myopia is significantly higher among female population and young individuals. Mixed astigmatism combined with presbyopia is more common among elderly population.
Key words: Astigmatism, Hypermetropia, Myopia, Presbyopia, Refractive errors
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