Refractive errors and vision impairment in students attending public primary schools: analysis in a large-scale children population in Mexico (Preprint)
In a cross-sectional, retrospective study conducted in Mexico, the prevalence of refractive errors among students in public primary schools was investigated. Among over 3.8 million students across all 32 states, possible refractive errors were identified in 32.5% using visual acuity measurement. Optometrists confirmed that 31.2% of these students had refractive errors. Shockingly, 83.7% of students with previous eyeglasses usage data reported had uncorrected refractive errors. Before receiving prescription eyeglasses, 72% of students had logMAR visual acuity of 0.2 or worse, but eyeglasses successfully corrected vision loss in 85.6% of these cases. Simple myopic astigmatism was the most frequent refractive error, affecting 25.7% of students, and astigmatism over -1.00 diopters was present in 54.6% of students with ametropia. Additionally, anisometropia, with a difference of ≥1.50 diopters between right and left eyes, was found in 3.9% of the students. The study emphasizes the importance of addressing uncorrected refractive errors among primary school students in Mexico and suggests the need for updated studies to analyze trends over the past decade. Uncorrected refractive errors can significantly impact school performance and overall opportunities for children, making early detection and treatment crucial for reducing vision impairment and improving academic outcomes.