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Ocular status and functional adaptation of visually challenged children of a special school in Oman

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Author(s): Khandekar Rajiv | Shah Rikin | Shah Manali | Al Harby Salah | Vora Urmi | Al Balushi Faiza

Journal: Oman Journal of Ophthalmology
ISSN 0974-620X

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Eye check up | rehabilitation | visually challenged

ABSTRACT
Introduction : We assessed the ocular status and visual adaptation among children studying at a school for visually disabled children in Muscat, Oman. Materials and Methods : This descriptive study was conducted in 2009-2010. We assessed the visual and ocular status of the participants. They were interviewed to elicit the past history of eye problems and management. They also expressed their visual adaptation in their ′day-to-day′ life, and their ambitions. Result : We examined and interviewed 47 participants (29 male and 18 female). The mean age of the participants was 19.7 years (Standard deviation 5.9 years). Twenty-six of them were blind since birth. Phthisical eyes, disfigured eyes and anophthalmic sockets were noted in 19, 58, and six eyes of participants. Twenty-six (55.5%) participants had visual disabilities due to genetic causes, since birth. In 13 participants, further investigations were needed to confirm diagnosis and determine further management After low vision training, 13 participants with residual vision could be integrated in the school with normal children. One participant was recommended stem cell treatment for visual restoration. Five children were advised reconstructive orbital surgery. The participants were not keen to use a white cane for mobility. Some participants, 16 / 28 (57%), with absolute blindness, were not able to read the Braille language. Singing and playing music were not very well-accepted hobbies among the participants. Nineteen participants were keen to become teachers. Conclusions : Children with visual disabilities need to be periodically assessed. The underlying causes of visual disabilities should be further explored to facilitate prevention and genetic counseling. Participants had visual adaptation for daily living and had ambitions for the future.

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