Spectrum of eye disorders seen in a pediatric eye clinic South East Nigeria

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Date: July-December 2017
From: Nigerian Journal of Surgery(Vol. 23, Issue 2)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 3,188 words
Lexile Measure: 1570L

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Byline: Eberechukwu. Achigbu, Ngozi. Oguego, Kingsley. Achigbu

Purpose: This study aims to determine the prevalence, pattern, and time of presentation for the ocular disorders seen among children attending a pediatric eye clinic in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review of all first-time patients at a pediatric eye clinic, within 2005-2007 was carried out. Data on cohort demographics, duration of illness before the presentation, and types of ocular disorders were collected and analyzed. Statistical significance was indicated by P < 0.05. Results: A total of 335 cases were reviewed, comprising 171 males and 164 females. The majority of children were in the 10-14 age group (31.94%). Allergies (40.72%) were the most common ocular disorder followed by refractive errors (22.16%), trauma (7.98%), and inflammation/infections (7.98%). Among others, ocular disorders seen in decreasing frequency were ocular motility imbalance (5.41%), tumors (1.28%), and ptosis (0.77%). Least common was juvenile glaucoma (0.51%). Majority (42.09%) presented more than 1 year after onset of illness while only 16.2% presented within 1 month of their illness. Conclusion: Most common causes of ocular disorder in this study were allergy, refractive error, and trauma. Majority of the children presented late, and most of the disorders can result in visual impairment/blindness if not treated early. This emphasizes the need for appropriate health education to avert most cases of childhood blindness/visual impairment.


Ocular morbidity in childhood is an important cause of medical consultation. If not attended to, it can lead to varying degrees of visual impairment which is unequally distributed globally with more than 90% of visually impaired people living in the developing countries.[1] Children below 15 years constitute about 44% of the Nigerian population[2] and these are our future leaders. Investing in the prevention and treatment of their ocular health problems will reduce the economic and social burden characteristic of late intervention. Early diagnosis and treatment are therefore important in maintaining a child's eye health in our environment. In developing countries such as ours, 60% of these children die within 1 year of going blind.[3] Pediatric ocular disorders, even as trivial as allergic conjunctivitis, if improperly managed, can lead to blindness. To achieve early diagnosis, it is important to determine the types of ocular disorders prevalent, and sociodemographic characteristics.

Ocular disorders along with allergies and asthma were considered the most common long-term health problem experienced by children in Australia.[4]

Spectrum of pediatric ocular disorders varies by region worldwide. In Nigeria, various studies[5],[6],[7],[8] have been carried out to determine the pattern and prevalence of ocular disorders in children. In Ibadan, South West Nigeria, refractive errors (25.7%), vernal conjunctivitis (25.3%), eye injuries (13.3%), and corneal inflammation (12.5%) were the leading causes of childhood eye morbidity reported over 20 years ago.[9] A more recent study also in South West, Nigeria reported ocular injuries as the most common disorders seen (21.7%), followed by allergic conjunctivitis (17.8%), infection of the eye and its adnexa (15.4%), and refractive errors (14.3%).[6] In South East Nigeria, vernal conjunctivitis, followed by refractive error and subconjunctival hemorrhage were...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A510892193