Refractive Errors Among Children at the Teaching Hospital of Bouaké (Central Côte d’Ivoire), from 2012 to 2016
Keywords:Refractive errors, Children-Optical, Correction
Purpose: Contribute to a better understanding of refractive errors (or ametropias) among children in Côte d’Ivoire, at the epidemiological and clinical levels.
Material and methods: Retrospective, cross-sectional descriptive study of medical records of children aged from 0 to 15 years received in ophthalmology consultation from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2016. Whatever the reason for consultation, the clinical examination highlighted an error in the refraction. Out of a total of 3,568 cases, 435 were selected.
Results: The average age of patients was 12 years ± 0.6 (samples of 5- and 15-years extreme values) and children aged from 12 to 15 years represented 66.21% (n = 288). There was a female predominance with 65.29% (n = 284) and 98.39% of them were students (n = 428). The personal history of wearing corrective lenses was found in 4.83% (n = 21) while the family history of wearing corrective lenses was found in 3.91% of cases (n = 17). The most frequent reason for consultation was reduced visual acuity, but this represented only 17.45% of the reasons for consultation. It was followed by photophobia (15.10%), and headaches (13, 50%). All patients had benefited from an objective refraction study by automatic refractometry before optical correction, with documented evidence of cycloplegia with 0.5% Cyclopentolate in 53.8% of cases (n = 234).
The refractive errors had a frequency of 12.2% and astigmatism, all forms combined (simple, compound, mixed), was present in 49.42% of patients (n = 215), followed by hyperopia with 33.1% (n = 144) and myopia with 17.47% (n = 76). Refractive errors were classified as low in 96.55% of cases (n = 420) and strabismus was among 4 children, or 0.92% of the population under study. All these ametropias had benefited from an optical correction by glasses.
Conclusion: Reducing the prevalence of uncorrected ametropia among children requires systematic screening, especially in schools. However, the low representation of children of preschool or out-of-school age contributes to an underestimation of the real prevalence of refractive errors in our conditions.
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