isual Acuity and Refractive Errors in a Sample of Iraqi Schoolchildren in Baghdad 2016 Bekir Abdul Wahab Rasheed* FICMS, Tamara Abdul Wahab Rasheed** FICMS, Ali Shihab Fahad Al-Amiry*** FICMS

  • imj Iraq Medical Journal
Keywords: Visual Acuity, Refractive error, Iraqi schoolchildren.


Background: Refractive error is one of the most common causes of visual impairment around the world and the second leading cause of treatable blindness. Objective: To screen a sample of schoolchildren for visual acuity and any refractive error.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study with some analytic elements in three months duration, from the 15th of October 2016 till the 15th of January 2017. A complete eye examination was done for total 179 children at seven primary schools visited in Baghdad Al-Rusafa. A short talk supported by chart was given to children in the visit. The material taken are E chart, torch light, ruler, direct ophthalmoscope, retinoscope and trial case. Each student undergoes the following examination; VA unaided, PH test and with glasses from 6 meters distance, cover test, examination with torch light, retinoscopy and subjective refraction, fundus examination with direct ophthalmoscope. The diagnostic criteria used in the study were as follows; Myopia if >-0.5, Hypermetropia if > +1.0 D, Astigmatism if > 0.5 D, Amblyopia if VA <6/12 (best corrected).

Results: A total of 179 children are included, with an age range from (8-12) years, with a mean of (10±1.56), more than half of the study sample were female (55.3%), (39) 21.8% have abnormal visual acuity (refractive error), from them, 25 (64.1%) were male, 24 (61.5%) age range from 8-10. Eleven (28.2%) students with refractive error had uncorrected vision between (6/24-6/60), while 8 (20.5%) student had uncorrected vision <6/60 causing sever visual impairment, putting these two categories together 19 students (48.7%) had a significant reduction in the visual acuity, it’s also seen that 9(23.1%) of children with refractive error could not be corrected to vision 6/9 or better because of amblyopia, while the vision of 30(76.9%) student with refractive error are preventable or treatable. Myopia type of refractive error 17 (43.6%) while hypermetropia 22 (56.4%).

Conclusion: It’s seen that 21.8% of the students included in the study were with refractive error. It’s also seen that the vision of 76.9% students with refractive error are preventable or treatable.


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