Vision screening in schoolchildren: two years results

Tananuvat, N.; Manassakorn, A.; Worapong, A.; Kupat, J.; Chuwuttayakorn, J.; Wattananikorn, S.

Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 87(6): 679-684


ISSN/ISBN: 0125-2208
PMID: 15279349
Document Number: 2598
Objective : To assess the prevalence of visual impairment and ocular abnormalities among schoolchildren in Chiang Mai. Design : A community-based survey. Subjects and Method : The vision screening project was conducted from June 2000 to March 2002. Students in grade I in the Chiang Mai municipal area were examined for visual acuity (VA), color vision, ocular alignment, anterior segment and fundus. Subjective refraction was done in students with subnormal vision (VA 20/30 or less). Referral to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment was made for students with strabismus, amblyopia and other ocular abnormalities. Results : A total of 3,431 and 3,467 students were enrolled in 2000 and 2001, respectively. The prevalence of normal vision (VA 20/20), VA 20/30 or better in at least one eye and 20/40 or less in at least one eye were similar in both years (87%, 5.7%, 7.3% and 85%, 6.4%, 8.7%, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference in visual acuity among boys and girls in either year (p = 0.6 and p = 0.2). Prevalence of abnormal color vision was 4.2%. Other causes of visual impairment in both years included strabismus (1.5% and 6.2%), amblyopia (1.1% and 1.4%) and some congenital abnormalities. Most cases of amblyopia were due to uncorrected refractive errors. Conclusion : The authors found that over 10% of school-aged children had subnormal vision. The important causes of visual deterioration came from refractive errors, strabismus and amblyopia. The authors concluded that vision screening is a cost-effective way of reducing visual morbidity from preventable visual impairment, which is a tragedy that cannot be ignored.

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Vision screening in schoolchildren: two years results