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Profile of Low Vision Population Attending Low Vision Clinic in a Peripheral Eye Hospital in Nepal

Author(s): Safal Khanal, BOptom | Pekila Lama, MD

Journal: Optometry & Visual Performance
ISSN 2325-3479

Volume: 1;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 208;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: low vision clinic | macular diseases | rehabilitation | retinitis pigmentosa | visual impairment

Background: Blindness and low vision are major causes of morbidity and constitute a significant public health problem, both detrimental to the quality of life for the individual and an economic burden on the individual, family, and society in general. People with low vision have the potential for enhancement of functional vision if they receive the appropriate low vision services. The present study aims to determine the profile of the low vision population attending a low vision clinic at a peripheral eye hospital in Nepal.Methods: The low vision evaluation report cards of all the patients attending the low vision clinic at Biratnagar Eye Hospital between January 1, 2010 to March 31, 2012 were retrospectively reviewed.Results: Out of 396 low vision patients, 280 (70.71%) were males and 116 (29.29%) were females. The age range of patients was from six to 89 years, with a mean of 43.29 ±11.06 years. Retinitis pigmentosa (70, 18%) and macular diseases except age related macular degeneration (AMD) (55, 14%) were the most common causes of low vision. Nystagmus and amblyopia (34, 26.36%), retinitis pigmentosa (49, 23.33%) and AMD (16, 28.07%) were the most common causes of low vision in the 0-15, 16-60, and >60 years age groups, respectively. Telescopes (52, 39.10%) and stand magnifiers (45, 33.83%) were the most commonly prescribed low vision devices.Conclusion: Hereditary anomalies and age related degeneration constitute the major causes of low vision in the study population. Telescopes and stand magnifiers were the most commonly prescribed and preferred low vision devices. The burden of visual impairment can be tackled in an effective way through the provision of quality and affordable low vision services and also provide a basis for national and regional level planning to combat visual impairment.
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