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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 86-91

Prevalence of amblyopia in primary school children in Qassim province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Yousef Homood Aldebasi
Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University, P.O. Box 6699-Buraidah 51452
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.148355

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Purpose: To determine the prevalence and causes of amblyopia in primary school children in Qassim province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Materials and Methods: In this cross sectional study, 5176 children, aged 6 to 13 years (mean - 9.53 ± 1.88 years) were evaluated. There were 2573 (49.71%) males and 2603 (50.29%) females. Distance visual acuity (V/A) was tested monocularly using a logMAR chart with and without correction. Cycloplegic refraction was performed in children with reduced vision. To determine the etiology of amblyopia, children were enrolled if there was a difference in V/A of two or more lines between eyes or an absolute reduction in acuity <20/30 in either eye, that could not be corrected by refraction. P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: There 202 out of 5176 (3.90%) with ambylopia. There are 98 (1.88%) amblyopic females. There was no statistical difference in gender for amblyopes (P > 0.05). The prevalence of amblyopia was statistically significant higher in the older age group (10-13 year) compared to younger age group (6 to 9 years) (P < 0.05). Unilateral amblyopia (3.24%) was more frequent than bilateral amblyopia (0.66%). The most frequent causes of amblyopia were refractive error (94.56%), of which anisometropic amblyopia was present in 77.72%, isoametropic amblyopia in 16.84% and strabismus in 5.44%. Conclusion: The prevalence of amblyopia in Qassim province, KSA, is 3.9% which is similar or higher than other published studies on amblyopia. Anisometropic refractive errors are the most common underlying cause for this population. We recommend implementation of visual screening programs for children with appropriate clinical and social settings for early detection and proper management of amblyopia.


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