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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 583-592

Prevalence of refractive errors, uncorrected refractive error, and presbyopia in adults in India: A systematic review

1 Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences, City University of London, London, UK
2 Injury Division, The George Institute for Global Health; UNSW Sydney, Australia
3 VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, India
4 Orbis International, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sethu Sheeladevi
School of Health Sciences, City University of London, London, EC1V OHB
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1235_18

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Purpose: The objective of this review is to estimate the prevalence of refractive errors, uncorrected refractive error (URE), and uncorrected presbyopia in adults aged ≥30 years in India. Methods: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. A detailed literature search was performed to include all studies published from India from the year 1990 using the Cochrane Library, Medline, and Embase. Refractive error was defined by >0.50 D ametropia. URE was defined by presenting visual acuity (PVA) worse than 6/18 improving with pinhole or spectacle correction, and uncorrected presbyopia by near vision Results: Fifteen studies were included from South India, one each from Western and Central India, and one study covered 15 states across India. The prevalence of RE of at least 0.50 D of spherical equivalent ametropia was 53.1% [(95% confidence interval (CI): 37.2–68.5), of which myopia and hyperopia was 27.7% and 22.9%, respectively. The prevalence of URE was 10.2% (95% CI: 6.9–14.8), but heterogeneity in these estimates was very high. The prevalence of uncorrected presbyopia was 33% (95% CI: 19.1–51.0). Conclusion: This review highlights the magnitude of refractive errors among adults in India. More studies are needed using standard methods in regions where there is a lack of information on UREs. Programs delivering spectacles for adults in India will need to primarily focus on reading glasses to correct presbyopia along with spectacles for hyperopia and myopia.

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