PREVALENCE AND PATTERN OF REFRACTIVE ERRORS IN SCHOOL GOING CHILDREN OF MANGLA CANTONMENT
Objective: To identify the prevalence of refractive errors and their different types in school going children.
Study Design: Cross-sectional analytical study.
Place and Duration of Study: Schools located in Mangla Cantonment and Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Mangla, from May 2017 to Jun 2017.
Material and Methods: Two qualified nursing assistants were sent to two schools located in Mangla cantonment, after obtaining prior permission from school authorities. They checked distance visual acuity of all the present students of these schools. The children with impaired visual acuity were then sent to a consultant ophthalmologist at CMH Mangla who obtain detailed history regarding asthenopic symptoms, ocular diseases and of
wearing glasses. Their ocular examination was carried out which included refraction and slit lamp examination. Cycloplegic refraction of children less than 8 years of age was done.
Results: A total of 2491 children were included in this study. But only 235 (9.4%) children were diagnosed to have refractive error; out of which 109 (46.4%) were males and 126 (53.6%) were females. Refractive errors were more common in children of age 10 years and above i.e. 82% as compared to children less than 10 years of age (18%). In our study, myopia was the most common (42.2%) refractive error diagnosed. In children below 10 years of age, Simple astigmatism was more prevalent (40.5%) whereas in 10 years and above age group, myopia was the commonest (46.6%). Hypermetropia constituted 8.9% of total refractive error diagnosed and it was more prevalent in 10 years and above age group (9.4%). Compound astigmatism was more prevalent in 10 years and above age group (30.5%). Simple astigmatism was 11.9% of total refractive errors and it was more prevalent in below 10 years age group (40.5%). Mixed astigmatism was also found to be more prevalent in below 10 years age group (16.7%).
Conclusion: Myopia was the commonest refractive error among school going children. However prevalence of different types of refractive errors varies between different age groups.