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A study of etiological causes of severe visual impairment and blindness in children of Western Rajasthan

Journal: Indian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology (Vol.3, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 351-355

Keywords : Childhood blindness; Hereditary causes of blindness; Severe visual impairment;

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Childhood blindness are group of conditions that occurs in childhood or early adolescence (<16 years of age), and if left untreated, results in severe visual impairment or blindness that is likely to be not treatable later on. The prevalence ranges from 0.3 per 1000 children aged between 0 and 15 years in prosperous countries to 1.5 per 1000 children in extremely poor communities. Materials and Methods: This study was done at Department of Ophthalmology at Mathura Das Mathur Hospital, Jodhpur. It is non randomized, observational study conducted from January 2015 to June 2016 (18 months) and all blind or severely visually impaired children with less than 16 years age attending Ophthalmology OPD or children living in blind schools near and within Jodhpur city were enrolled after receiving informed written consent by their parents/guardian. Results: In this research study, we found that hereditary causes were accountable for blindness in 160(56.34%) patients but we were not able to specify any inheritance pattern in 153(53.87%) patients. Intrauterine factors such as rubella and toxoplasmosis were responsible in 6(2.11%) patients. Perinatal/Neonatal factors such as cerebral hypoxia/injury and ROP were responsible in 6(2.11%) patients. Postnatal factors such as trauma, measles, neoplasms and meningitis were responsible in 14(4.93%) patients. In 98(34.51%) cases factor/factors causing cataract and glaucoma could not be determined but probably genetic factors appear to be responsible. Conclusions: We concluded that the most important causes of preventable blindness were genetic in 160(56.34%) patients followed by TORCH infections in 6 (2.11%), trauma in 4(1.41%), measles in 4(1.41%) and meningitis in 3 patients i.e. 1.06%. The most significant cause of disease which can be treated was cataract in 76(26.76%) patients followed by glaucoma in 12(4.23%) and ROP in 2(0.70%) patients. Timely recognition and treatment is necessary to prevent advancement of dense amblyopia.

Last modified: 2017-10-09 20:54:24