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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 240-245

Prevalence, causes of blindness, visual impairment and cataract surgical services in Sindhudurg district on the western coastal strip of India

1 Lions NAB Eye Hospital, Miraj, Maharashtra, India
2 Lions NAB Eye Hospital, Miraj; Dr. Gogate's Eye Clinic, Pune, Maharashtra, India
3 Lions NAB Eye Hospital; Kulkarni Eye Hospital, Miraj, Sangli; Department of Ophthalmology, Bharti Vidyapeeth Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
4 PRASHA Consultants Pvt. Ltd.; Indian Institute of Public Health, South Asia Centre for Disability, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Parikshit Gogate
Dr. Gogate's Eye Clinic, K-102, Tadiwala Road, Pune 411001, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: Lions NAB Eye Hospital and Volkart Foundation., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.128633

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Background : Konkan coast of India is geographically distinct and its pattern of blindness has never been mapped. Aim : To study the prevalence and causes of blindness and cataract surgical services in Sindhudurg district of West Coast. Subjects : Individual aged > 50 years. Materials and Methods: Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness used to map blindness pattern in the district. Statistical analysis: SPSS version 19. Results: Amongst those examined 1415 (51.7%) had visual acuity (VA) >20/60, 924 (33.8%, confidence interval (C.I) 30.5%-36.8%) had VA 20/200-<20/60(visual impairment), 266 (9.7%, C.I. 6.1%-13.3%) had VA < 20/200-20/400 (severe visual impairment) and 132 (4.8%, C. I. 1.1%-8.5%) had VA < 20/400 (blindness by WHO standards). There was no significant gender difference in prevalence of blindness, but blindness and visual impairment was more in older and rural residing individuals. Amongst those with presenting vision < 20/200 in better eye, 309 (82.4%) had cataract, 36 (9.7%) had corneal scars, 13 (3.5%) had diabetic retinopathyand 3 (0.8%) had glaucoma. Cataract surgical coverage for the district was only 30.5%; 32% for males and 28.4% for females. Unable to afford, lack of knowledge and lack of access to services were the commonest barriers responsible for cataract patients not seeking care. Amongst those who had undergone cataract surgery, only 50% had visual acuity ≥ 20/60.46.9% of the population had spectacles for near, but only 53.3% of the population had presenting near vision < N10. Conclusion : Cataract, refractive errors and diabetes were significant causes of visual impairment and blindness.

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