The Prevalence and Major Causes of Low Vision among Children in Gaza strip, Palestine

Khalid S. Awad, Mohammed A. Aljarousha, Ayat I. Alasmar, Asmaa H. Eslayeh, Duaa Y. Alshaer, Sammar M. Elbanna

Abstract


Low vision is a serious public health problem and is significantly increasing globally in the past couple of decades. However, there is no available data in the literature about the prevalence of low vision among children in Palestine.

This study aimed to determine the prevalence and etiology of low vision at Al-Noor center of the visually impaired, Gaza Strip, Palestine.

This retrospective analysis was based on the observation of 423 files, using a convenience sampling method. The information extracted from the files includes: date of first consultation, gender, age, systemic diseases, parental congruity, causes of visual impairment as diagnosed by an ophthalmologist and types of optical aids prescribed.

The majority of patients 202 (47.7%) were from the age group between 6-12 years old. Two hundred and twelve (50.1%) of the subjects were males and 211 (49.8%) females. The main causes of low vision were amblyopia among patients in the zero to five years age group, retinitis pigmentosa among the 6-12 years age group and cataract, macular dystrophies and ocular albinism among the 13-18 years of age.

The prevalence and etiology of low vision in children in Gaza Strip is high compared to other countries. It is recommended that regular checks of visual acuity be conducted for all children of age 0-18 years, who attend the visually impaired center.


Keywords


Low vision, Amblyopia, Retinitis pigmentosa, Cataract, Ocular albinism, Parental congruity.

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