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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 1117-1125

Visual Morbidities among Patients at a Geriatric Center in Southwest Nigeria and the Merits of Designated Geriatric Health Care Centers Incorporating Eye Care Services

1 Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital and College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
3 Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. L A Adebusoye
Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre, University College Hospital, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_55_21

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Background: Visual morbidities increase the burden of care and negatively impact the quality of life of older people. Few empirical reports exist on the visual status of older Nigerians. Aim: This study describes the visual morbidities and determinants of visual impairment among persons aged 60 years and above who presented at a geriatric center in southwestern Nigeria and discusses the merits of focused geriatric care at a single location. Materials and Methods: Data were obtained from electronic health records and case files of 628 older patients (≥60 years) who attended the facility between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2018. Data extracted included, age, sex, married status, occupational status, visual acuity, eye diagnoses, eye medications, previous surgeries, and anthropometric measurements. Results: Mean age of patients was 70.1 ± 7.4 years and 378 (60.2%) were females. Two out of every three patients had more than one visual diagnosis. Significantly, glaucoma (P < 0.001) and cataract (P = 0.01) were common among men, whereas dry eye syndrome (P < 0.001) and allergic conjunctivitis (P = 0.01) were common in women. Antiglaucoma medications (55.8%) were the commonest medications used and 21.0% had previous eye surgery. Assessment of presenting visual acuity demonstrated that 28.7% of patients had moderate-severe visual impairment (MSVI) in both eyes at presentation while 10.3% were bilaterally blind. Increasing age (P < 0.001) and male sex (P = 0.01) were the factors significantly associated with blindness. Conclusion: MSVI and blindness were common in our setting with glaucoma and cataract being the most prevalent associated diagnosis. Information obtained should stimulate advocacy for the prompt management of preventable causes of poor vision in older Nigerians.

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