The Prevalence of Refractive Errors in 5- to 15-Year-Old Population of Two Underserved Rural Areas of Iran
The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of hyperopia and myopia and their associations with age and gender in 5- to 15-year-old children in underserved rural areas in Iran.
Refractive errors are the leading cause of visual impairment in the world and account for a great share of visual impairment. A review in 2010 by Naidoo stated that 6.8 million people in the world are blind due uncorrected refractive errors, and 101.2 million are visually impaired.
Refractive errors are vision disorders that can affect an individual throughout their lifetime, and they are the most common vision problem in most age groups.
Children are one of the most important populations at risk of refractive errors, and such visual problems can impact their learning experiences and future occupational opportunities.
The prevalence of hyperopia in males and females was 2.83%. The lowest prevalence of hyperopia was observed in the 14–15 year age group (3.44%), and the highest was in the 5–7 year age group (4.84%).
In conclusion, the present report is a brief description of the status of refractive errors in children residing in underprivileged villages of two rural districts in Iran. As presented, the prevalence of myopia is not high, although the prevalence of hyperopia is in the mid-range compared to previous studies. Older age is a risk factor related to myopia. Rural-dwellers’ desire for urban migration and the higher rate of risk factors in urban life or their extension to rural areas can increase the prevalence of refractive errors in villages.