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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 55-58

Profile of refractive errors and presbyopia in a university community: A clinical study

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria
2 Research and Training Unit, School of Nursing, ABU Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
E R Abah
Department of Ophthalmology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika-Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0331-3131.78273

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Aim : To determine the prevalence and distribution of refractive errors and presbyopia in the university community. Materials and Methods : A prospective study of all consecutive patients who visited A.B.U. Sick Bay between March 2009 and May 2010 was conducted. The ophthalmic nurse booked all patients whose visual acuity improved with the use of pinhole for further examination and refraction by one of two ophthalmologists who visited the facility twice a week. Those who did not turn up for refraction were excluded. Results : A total of 1448 patients with mean age of 24.6 SD± 4.9 years, distributed along gender and occupational lines, were seen within the study period. The prevalence of refractive errors and presbyopia was 15.8%. The prevalence of refractive error alone in the sample population was 9.5%, that of presbyopia only was 4.2% and that of those who had both refractive error and presbyopia was 2.1% (i.e. total prevalence of refractive errors = 11.6%). However, the total prevalence of presbyopia among those above 40 years was 49.7%. The predominant errors were astigmatism and simple myopia. Conclusion : Presbyopia and refractive errors, especially astigmatism and simple myopia, are common eye conditions in the university environment. Many patients would not turn up for their refraction appointments. It is recommended that mass enlightenment and screening for refractive errors be commenced, while routine assessment of new students and staff will also help to curb the negative impact on academic performance.

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