Abstract
A STUDY OF REFRACTIVE ERRORS, STRABISMUS AND AMBLYOPIA IN PAEDIATRIC PATIENTS OF SOUTH INDIA

Dr. P. S. Giridhar, Dr. G. Dhanalakshmi*, Dr. Manjunath Natarajan, Dr. Harshila Jain and Dr. Prakash S.

ABSTRACT

Refractive errors are a major contributor to burden of vision problems. This study was done to determine the magnitude & distribution of refractive errors, strabismus and amblyopia in paediatric patients at a tertiary care hospital in Southern India. Objectives: 1. Estimate the number, magnitude & pattern of refractive errors. 2. Analyze associations between refractive error and different types of strabismus & amblyopia. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional, observational study. This study was performed at a tertiary care hospital in Tamil Nadu from Feb 2018 to Feb 2019. A total of 512 children, aged 5–15 years, whose parents consented for this study were chosen. All the children underwent complete ophthalmic examination with cycloplegic refraction according to standard hospital protocol. Patients were grouped into three categories – myopia, hypermetropia & mixed astigmatism. Snellen’s chart was used & acuities were converted into LogMAR equivalents. Compound hypermetropes were classified into myopia or hypermetropia based on their spherical equivalents. The collected data was analysed by excel & SPSS version 25.0. Results: Refractive errors were found in 64.4% (n=330) of the cases, the commonest type of refractive error being myopia which comprised of 60% (n=198) of patients. Strabismus and amblyopia were seen in 37.87% (n=125) and 19.09% (n=63), respectively. The maximum magnitude of error was -4.50D of myopia, +4.00D hypermetropia, -2.50D of astigmatism. Hypermetropes within the range of 1.50 to 2.50D of refractive error had the maximum incidence of strabismus & amblyopia. Conclusions: Myopia was the most common refractive error, this is in coherence with other studies which were done under similar settings to ours. The burden of refractive errors and sequelae is heavy, hence it is important to promote awareness about early detection of refractive errors and have frequent & focused screening programmes in schools.

Keywords: Amblyopia, children, refractive errors, strabismus.


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