• Dr Pushpalata Chaturvedi


Color Blindness, Conjunctivitis, Ocular Morbidity: Squint, Vitamin A Deficiency


Background: Visual impairment is a global issue with substantial socioeconomic consequences. Due to the length of time that childhood blindness are a critical issue. Early identification and treatment of ocular illness and visual impairment in young children is crucial, especially because thirty percent of blind people in India lose their sight before the age of twenty and many of them are blind when they become blind.

Aim: to determine the prevalence of ocular morbidity in school-age children. A standardised questionnaire that had been pretested served as the data gathering tool. It was pretested at a coeducational school chosen at random that was left out of the research. A history of night blindness or examination revealed symptoms of keratomalacia, conjunctival xerosis, corneal xerosis, or Bitot's spots, vitamin A insufficiency was diagnosed.

Methods: The study, which involved children in classes one through ten (ages six to sixteen), was carried out in an urban setting. There are 721,745 people living there in total, with 23% (166,833) living in the urban area and 77% (554,914) in the countryside. There were 120 schools in city municipal corporation. According to statistics available at the district education cell in 2001, of which 104 (87%) were coeducational and 16 (13%) single sex systems (seven only boys and nine solely girls). 

Results: Refractive errors (22.0%) constitute the major cause of ocular morbidity followed by squint (2.5%), color blindness (2.3%), vitamin A deficiency (1.8%) and conjunctivitis (0.8%). Similar prevalence of ocular morbidity among government (30.7%) and private schools (32.7%) was observed. Prevalence of refractive errors in government schools (21.5%) and private schools (22.6%) was also similar.

Conclusion: Overall prevalence of ocular morbidity decreased significantly with age in government schools. However, it increased up to 10-12 years then declined significantly in private schools also (P<0.05). Prevalence of squint decreased significantly after 10 years of age in both the schools (P<0.05). Prevalence of refractive errors increased significantly after 10 years of age in private schools.