Prevalence of Refractive Errors among School Going Children – A Cross Sectional Study

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K. Anjaneyulu, A. Geetha, Y.M.S Prasad, Ravinath Goud Marepally


Background: Children's vision development is crucial for learning and
communication. Visual impairment has a detrimental effect on academic and
socioemotional development. The majority of cases of visual impairment are caused by
refractive errors. Uncorrected refractive error, particularly in school-age children, has
grown to be a significant concern for health care policy makers.Methods: School-based
cross-sectional study was conducted and screening was done in children of 5 to 16 years of
age in both urban and rural areas of Kurnool district. The main outcome measures were
presenting, uncorrected, and best-corrected visual acuity. Results: A total of 37329 children
were examined during the study period comprising 19934 (53.4%) males and 17395
(46.6%) females; and age range 5 to 15 years. Refractive error was the principal cause of
visual impairment which was seen in 14075 children (37.7%). Of the refractive errors,
myopia accounted for 42.7% (n=6643), hyperopia for 10.5% (n=1479) and astigmatism for
42.3% (n=5953).Conclusion: The study provides a useful baseline data about the refractive
error amongst the school children of kurnool district. Refractive error, especially myopia, is
common in India. Screening programs should be conducted in all the schools to detect
vision problem as early as possible enabling timely intervention.
Keywords: refractive error, screening, amblyopia, visual impairment

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