Refractive Error in Nigerian Adults: Prevalence, Type, and Spectacle Coverage

  • The purpose of the study is to provide data on prevalence and types of refractive error and the spectacle-wearing rate among adults aged ≥40 years in Nigeria and the degree to which the need for distance correction could be met by off-the-shelf spectacles.

  • Uncorrected refractive error was responsible for 77.9% of mild visual impairment, 57.1% of moderate VI, 11.3% of severe VI and 1.4% of blindness.

  • The crude prevalence of myopia (≤0.5 D) and high myopia (≤5.0 D) were 16.2% and 2.1%, respectively.

  • Spectacles could improve the vision of 1279 (9.4%) and 882 (6.5%) participants at the 6/12 and 6/18 level, respectively, but only 3.4% and 4.4% of these individuals wore spectacles to the examination site.

  • Approximately 2,140,000 adults in Nigeria would benefit from spectacles that improved their vision from <6/12 to ≥6/12.

  • More than a third of the need could be met by low-cost, off-the-shelf spectacles.

  • Uncorrected refractive errors are an important cause of visual impairment in Nigeria, and services must be dramatically improved to meet the need.

Publication date

February 22, 2019


Clinical and Epidemiologic Research - Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Arvo Journal

Sponsor Institution

Sightsavers International, Christian Blind Mission (CBM), and Vellux Stiftung.


Christian Ezelum; Hessom Razavi; Selvaraj Sivasubramaniam; Clare E. Gilbert; Gudlavalleti V. S. Murthy; Gabriel Entekume; Tafida Abubakar; Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Study Group
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