Profile of Amblyopia at Sabatia eye hospital
BACKGROUND Amblyopia is a visual development disorder whose onset is in childhood. It becomes resistant to treatment after the critical period of 7 – 8 years when the visual system is estimated to have matured. Therefore early diagnosis is vital to the prevention of visual impairment caused by amblyopia. STUDY OBJECTIVE This study aims to determine the proportion of children who have amblyopia among those presenting at the Sabatia Eye Hospital in 2014, as well as the profile of amblyopia in these children. METHODOLOGY Study Design: Quantitative, hospital-based, retrospective case series study. Study Population: All children aged below 16 years who fit the case definitions of amblyopia and were seen at Sabatia Eye Hospital between 1st January and 31st December 2014. Data Collection and Management: The 2014 outpatient records to recruit the study population as per the flow chart and study case definitions. Data was analyzed using SPSS 20.0. Frequencies and percentages were used to analyze categorical variables while continuous variables were analyzed using mean, median, mode, and range. P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. The analyzed data was presented in the forms of tables and graphs. Results: A total of 268 patients (451 eyes) were recruited in the study from the 4,269 files assessed, giving a proportion of 6.3%. Most patients [183 (68.28%)] had bilateral amblyopia while 85 (31.72%) had unilateral amblyopia. Refractive amblyopia (56.54%) was the most common type. It had a late diagnosis with two thirds of children presenting after the age of 8 years, and was predominantly due to ametropia which is bilateral by definition. Moderate amblyopia (58.47%) was more common than deep amblyopia (41.53%) and was predominantly due to refractive errors. Conclusion: Pre-school vision screening programmes are recommended for early diagnosis and timely treatment of refractive errors since they do not have obviously visible signs.
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