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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 70-74

Prevalence of refractive errors in school-going children of Taif region of Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Medical College, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia
2 Anterior Segment Division, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Tadawi Surgical Center, Taif, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Ophthalmology, Medical College, University of Hafr Al-Batin, Hafr Al-Batin, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Talal A AlThomali
Taif University, PO Box 795, Taif 21944
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjopt.sjopt_46_21

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PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence of refractive errors in the pediatric population in Taif, Saudi Arabia. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 7356 eyes of 3678 primary and secondary school children (males = 1837; females = 1841) with a mean age of 11.8 ± 2.2 years (range: 7–18) (males = 11.4 ± 2.0 [range: 8–16]; females = 12.2 ± 2.3 [range: 7–18]). All participants were selected from the school registers. The participants underwent noncycloplegic refraction to determine refractive errors. Students who refused visual acuity assessment or eye examination and were inconsistent in visual acuity assessment were excluded. RESULTS: The manifest refraction spherical equivalent of the study population was 0.37 ± 1.52 D (range from − 18.4 to 8.8 D) (males = −0.32 ± 1.4 D [range − 15.88–8.8 D]; females = −0.42 ± 1.6 D [range − 18.38–8.0 D]). The overall prevalence of uncorrected refractive errors among school children in this study was 50.91%. The overall distribution of astigmatism (cylinder error of ≥0.50 D) in the current study population was found to be 50.14% (3688/7356 eyes). CONCLUSION: Nearly half of the study population in this area was affected with at least one type of refractive error. The findings reveal the necessity for implementing timely and sensitive screening programs/methods to identify and correct refractive errors in this age group.

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