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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 530-535

Prevalence of ophthalmic disorders among hearing-impaired school children in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh

1 The David Brown Children's Eye Care Centre, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for Advancement in Rural Eye Care (GPR-ICARE), L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Paramedical Ophthalmic Officer, NPCB Area Hospital, Narsaraopeta, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rohit C Khanna
Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for Advancement in Rural Eye Care (GPR-ICARE), L V Prasad Eye Institute, Kismatpur, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_995_18

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Purpose: To estimate the prevalence, causes, and risk factors for visual impairment (VI) among children of school for hearing-impaired (HI) in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Methods: Children between 6 and 16 years of age available in all the 12 special schools for HI were examined. Visual acuity (VA) testing, ocular motility, and examination of anterior and posterior segment for all children were done. Those having VA of less than 6/12 in better eye underwent cycloplegic refraction. For definition of VI, as per World Health Organization (WHO), VA of better eye was considered. HI was also classified as mild, moderate, severe, and profound as per WHO definitions. Examination for systemic diseases and other associated disabilities was also done. Results: In all, 402 children underwent examination. Ophthalmic abnormality was seen in 64 children with a prevalence of 15.9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 14.9%–16.8%], and VI was seen in 29 children with a prevalence of 7.2% (95% CI 4.9%–10.2%). Refractive errors [29 (7.2%)], retinitis pigmentosa (RP) [16 (4%)], and squint [8 (2%)] were the major ophthalmic abnormalities. Thirty-five (54.7%) of the abnormalities were either preventable or treatable. The major cause of VI was refractive error (18) followed by RP (5). Twenty of them (69%) with VI in this study group were treatable. Twenty-two (75.9%) children with eye problem were newly diagnosed. The only risk factor for VI was being mentally challenged (odds ratio: 5.63; 95% CI: 1.89–16.8). Conclusion: The prevalence of ophthalmic abnormalities and VI in school for HI was high, and the majority of them were not detected so far. As most of them are easily treatable, it is highly recommended to conduct regular eye examinations in these schools.

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