Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 451-454

Awareness of childhood blindness in parents attending Paediatrics Ophthalmology outpatient department

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pathology, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Banyameen Iqbal
Department of Pathology, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.186057

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Background: Blindness is defined by World Health Organisation as having a visual acuity of <3/60 in the better eye. Thirty-seven million people are blind worldwide. One million and four hundred thousand are children. The causes of blindness in children vary according to region and socioeconomic development. The aim of our study is to identify a range of potential issues relating to parental awareness and perceptions of common eye diseases affecting children. Materials and Methods: The type of study was population-based, prospective, cross-sectional study conducted on parents of 200 children ranging from 0 to 16 years of age, attending Paediatric Ophthalmology clinic during the month of August and September 2014. This was an open-ended questionnaire-based study and only the participants who consented were enrolled in the study. Results: The most common eye problem detected among 200 of children was refractive errors. The incidence of refractive errors was found to be 103 out of 200 (51.5%). This is followed by 71 (35.5%) cases of squint/strabismus. Of 200 parents, 150 (75%) think the present eye condition of their child will reduce the eyesight. However, they did not know about the nature of the eye problem. Forty-four (22%) parents did not know anything about the eye condition of their child. Seventy (35%) parents were apprehensive about the use of spectacles in the children suffering from refractive errors. One hundred and six (53%) parents came to know about the eye problem of their child from the teacher of the child and 63 (31.5%) parents got information from their family doctor. Conclusions: As the number of mothers attending the eye department with the child is high, so there is more need of educating the mothers about the eye conditions of the child. Education and socioeconomic conditions affect the knowledge and awareness level of the parents regarding eye problems. Most of the children attending outpatient department were found to be in the age group of 5-8 years. This may point toward factors like dietary deficiency of Vitamin A and other important nutrients. Commonest eye problem was of refractive errors among children.

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