Community outreach: An indicator for assessment of prevalence of amblyopia

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From: Indian Journal of Ophthalmology(Vol. 66, Issue 7)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 3,094 words
Lexile Measure: 1540L

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Byline: Damaris. Magdalene, Harsha. Bhattacharjee, Mitalee. Choudhury, Prabhjot. Multani, Anshul. Singh, Saurabh. Deshmukh, Krati. Gupta

Purpose: To study the prevalence, determine the magnitude, and cause of amblyopia among the children aged 6 months to 16 years in Kamrup district, Assam, India. Methods: Among a total of 39,651 children between 6 months and 16 years of age, door-to-door screening was conducted by trained workers. For children above 5 years of age who failed to read the 6/9 line, camps were conducted in the nearby schools. Children below 5 years of age were directly referred to the tertiary eye care institute. After visual acuity assessment at the institute, cycloplegic refraction and complete ophthalmic examination were done to rule out other causes of diminution of vision. Axial length measurement and corneal topography were performed in children with high refractive errors. Results: Of the total 39,651 children screened, 469 were diagnosed to have amblyopia at the camp and 223 were diagnosed at the institute. The prevalence of amblyopia was 1.75%. Amblyopia was more common among the males (52.50%) as compared to females. Maximum number of patients were found in the age group of 11-16 (63.58%). Refractive amblyopia was found to be the most common cause of amblyopia (45.29%). In children below 5 years, deprivation amblyopia and strabismic amblyopia were more common. Conclusion: Awareness of amblyopia among the parents is essential for early detection and treatment of the disease, which will, in turn, reduce the burden of childhood visual impairment.

Amblyopia has been defined as the diminution of vision, unilateral or bilateral, caused by the deprivation of pattern vision or abnormal binocular interaction, for which no cause can be detected.[1] Amblyopia is the most common cause of uniocular visual impairment among the children, young and middle-aged adults and has a prevalence rate of about 1%-4%.[2],[3],[4] Anisometropia, high refractive errors, squint, media opacities, or their combinations are the various causes of amblyopia commonly encountered in outpatient departments. The prognosis of amblyopic patients depends on multiple factors, which include the age of the patient at detection, its cause, severity, the presence of co-morbidities, the interval between the onset and initiation of treatment, and the patient compliance.[5] Parent education and awareness of the disease also play an important role. Treatment regimens include optical correction, patching, atropinization, and vision therapy. In case of deprivation amblyopia, it is necessary to treat the cause. Amblyopia can lead to permanent loss of vision if timely corrective measures are not taken. The ominous documented consequence of amblyopia is the risk of blindness if unaffected eye becomes diseased or damaged later in life, resulting in significant health and social consequences.[6],[7],[8] Early detection of amblyogenic risk factors such as strabismus, refractive errors, and media opacities along with disease awareness among the parents is essential to identify the disease early in its course and initiate treatment to reduce the burden of the disease. This will reduce the overall prevalence and severity of visual loss in children. Refractive error correction can significantly improve visual acuity (VA) to...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A544684174