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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-29

Causes of permanent severe visual impairment and blindness among Jordanian population


1 Department of Ophthalmology, King Hussein Medical Center, Amman, Jordan
2 Department of General and Special Surgery, Hashemite University, Zarka, Jordan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Basel Turki Baarah
Department of Ophthalmology, King Hussein Medical Center, P.O. Box 2327, Amman 11181
Jordan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/meajo.MEAJO_202_16

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PURPOSE: To report the causes of permanent severe visual impairment and blindness among Jordanian blind people. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was conducted on 1422 legally blind or worse vision people of all ages who attended the ophthalmic division of a medical committee for evaluation of disabled persons from July 2013 through November 2014. They were divided into two age groups: adult group (998 cases) and childhood group (<16 years, 424 cases). Patients presented reports from their ophthalmologists detailing their eye examination including best-corrected visual acuity, slit-lamp examinations, and if applicable, intraocular pressure, dilated ophthalmoscopy, and visual field and the primary cause of visual impairment. Blind defined as best-corrected visual acuity < 6/60 (20/200) and/or visual field of 20° or less. RESULTS: Retinitis pigmentosa was the most common cause of blindness among adult group (29.7%) followed by diabetic retinopathy (19.9%) and glaucoma (15.8%). Congenital whole-globe malformations were the most common cause of blindness among childhood cases (16.7%) followed by retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (15.8%) and retinal dystrophies (13.9%). Overall, blindness related to genetic diseases, illnesses, and trauma was present at 56.5% (803), 41.7% (593), and 1.8% (26) of cases, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Genetic diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma were the dominant causes of blindness among adults, while whole-globe malformation, ROP, and retinal dystrophies were the dominant causes of childhood blindness. These major causes of blindness should be considered in future public health and nongovernmental organizations strategies for blindness prevention in Jordan.


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