Prevalence of Visual Impairment and Refractive Errors in an Urban Area of Mexico
The study aims at determining the distribution of refractive errors in a school-age population in Quintana Roo (Mexico) in the framework of an international cooperation campaign for the prevention of blindness.
A sample of 2647 school-age children (ranging from 5 to 14 years old) with a mean age of 9.1±1.9 years old were tested by trained volunteers for distance visual acuity (VA) and refractive errors.
A total of 633 (23.9%) children underwent the second complete eye examination.
Bilateral amblyopia was found in 17 children (2.7% of refracted eyes; 0.64% of the total).
The main reason for visual impairment (VI) in the sample analyzed was found to be refractive errors.
In 12 children (1.9% of refracted eyes; 0.45% of the total) the VI was bilateral and 9 (1.4% of refracted eyes; 0.34% of the total) achieved a corrected distance visual acuity of 20/25 or better in both eyes.
Mean magnitude of sphere and refractive cylinder was +0.20±0.96 D and -0.43±0.85 D in right eyes, and +0.24±1.08 and -0.43±0.83 D in left eyes.
The proportion of myopic eyes [standard equivalent (SE) ≤-0.50 D] was 4.6% of the whole sample (5290 eyes). The mean magnitude of myopia was -0.84±3.44 D for the right eyes and -0.82±5.21 D for the left eyes.
The proportion of hyperopic patients (SE≥+2.00 D) was 2.4% (15/633), which corresponded to 0.60% of the whole sample (32/5290 eyes).
No statistically significant correlation of age to manifest sphere or cylinder was found.
VI due to uncorrected refractive errors can be easily corrected with glasses but it is still a burden to be treated.
Myopia is prevalent in this sample.
More efforts towards correcting uncorrected refractive errors are needed.