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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 333-340

The Prevalence and Causes of Low Vision and Visual Impairment in School-Aged Children: The Shiraz Pediatric Eye Study


1 Poostchi Ophthalmology Research Center, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2 Poostchi Ophthalmology Research Center, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
3 Poostchi Ophthalmology Research Center, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine; Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Mohammad Reza Khalili
Poostchi Ophthalmology Research Center, Department of Ophthalmology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Zand Street, Shiraz, Fars
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/joco.joco_153_21

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Purpose: To determine the prevalence and causes of visual impairment (VI) in Shiraz schoolchildren aged between 6 and 12 years. Methods: In the present population-based study, stratified random sampling was used to select 2400 schoolchildren aged 6–12 years from all four educational districts of Shiraz, Iran. Using the definitions of the World Health Organization, VI was defined as best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) ≤0.5 logMAR (20/60) in the better eye, and blindness as BCVA worse than 1.3 logMAR (20/400) in the better eye. The low vision was defined as BCVA equal to or worse than 0.5 logMAR (20/60) in either eye. Data were recorded from a detailed interview and ocular examination of each eligible student. Results: The mean age of the students was 9.1 ± 1.6 years. The prevalence of VI was 3/2001 (0.14%). The cause of VI in all these three patients (100%) was amblyopia due to high refractive errors (high ametropia and astigmatism). Regarding the main refractive errors leading to VI among these three patients, one patient had bilateral high hyperopia (compound hyperopic astigmatism), one of them had bilateral high astigmatism, and the other one had compound myopic astigmatism. According to a visual acuity of less than or equal to 20/60 in at least one eye, 9/2001 (0.4%) of children had low vision. Conclusions: This study revealed a low prevalence of VI in a sample of 6- to 12-year-old school-aged children. Amblyopia in the setting of high ametropia and astigmatism were the most common causes of VI.


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