The Prevalence and Pattern of Refractive error in Ogun State, Nigeria
Keywords:Refractive errors, Refraction, Visual impairment, Blindness
Objective: To determine the prevalence and pattern of refractive errors in Ogun State, Nigeria. The prevalence of blindness was also determined.
Method: A cross sectional descriptive survey. Participants aged 15years and above were randomly selected from 1125 attendees of different community medical outreaches conducted in 5 Local government areas of Ogun State between August 2012 and March 2013. Participants underwent ocular examination and refraction (automated objective and subjective assessments).
Results: The sample consisted of 780 participants. Their mean age was 49.14 (±18.37), and 52.8% were females. About two-thirds [67.7%] had presenting visual acuity [VA] of at least 6/18, while 14.3% were legally blind [VA worse than 3/60].Astigmatism was the most prevalent refractive error [40%] but on conversion to
spherical equivalents, hyperopia [28.5%] became the most prevalent error. Apart from refractive errors, cataract and glaucoma were found to be the other major causes of visual impairment amongst the respondents.
Conclusion: The prevalence of refractive errors and blindness in the study population was higher than previously documented with hyperopia being the most prevalent spherical equivalent refractive error. An urgent integration of primary eye care into the existing primary health care system for prevention of blindness is advocated.