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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 361-367

Uncorrected refractive error in a university community

Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT)/ESUT Teaching Hospital, Park-lane, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. C C Anajekwu
Department of Ophthalmology, Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital, Park-lane, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_1603_21

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Aims and Background: To determine the prevalence and pattern of uncorrected refractive error among staff of a Nigerian university. Patient and Methods: A cross-sectional study of consecutive staff of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria who presented for a 10-day free eye screening program. Demographic data and data on eye care awareness and knowledge were obtained with a combination of self-administered and interviewer-administered questionnaires in the English language. Clinical examinations included visual acuity taken at 6 m with Snellen's chart; noncontact tonometry; pen-torch eye examination; and direct ophthalmoscopy; autorefraction and subjective refraction. Results: One thousand and eighty-three subjects aged 18–82 years (mean = 44.1 ± 12.15 years) comprising 568 females (52.4%) and 515 males (47.6%) were screened. Eighty-nine subjects (8.3%) were visually impaired and five subjects (0.5%) were blind. Three hundred and fifty-six subjects were diagnosed with refractive error (356/1083; 32.9%), out of which 149 subjects (41.9%) were uncorrected. The prevalence of uncorrected refractive error in this study population was 13.8%. Astigmatism was the commonest refractive error, whereas hypermetropia and hypermetropic astigmatism were the commonest spherical and astigmatic errors, respectively. Conclusion: A significant proportion of the staff of this Nigerian university still lives with uncorrected refractive error with its attendant consequences. Regular eye checks should be done by the staff of our universities and effort should be intensified in eye care awareness creation among the populace, including the apparently enlightened communities.

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