Authors
Gyawali, Rajendra MOptom, FAAO; Moodley, Vanessa R. BOptom, MOptom, PhD

Causes of Childhood Vision Impairment in the School for the Blind in Eritrea

publication date
August 3, 2017
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Abstract/Introduction

SIGNIFICANCE 

Our study provides the much-needed evidence on causes of childhood blindness in Eritrea. This will assist authorities to plan appropriate strategies and implement preventive, curative, and rehabilitative services to address these causes of vision loss in children in this resource-limited country.

PURPOSE 

This study aims to identify the causes of severe vision impairment and blindness in children attending the only school for the blind in Eritrea.

METHODS 

All children enrolled in the school were examined, and the World Health Organization form for the examination of visually impaired children was used to record the data. Examination included visual acuity, refraction, anterior segment, and fundus assessment. Causes of vision loss for children with severe vision impairment (visual acuity <6/60 to 3/60) and blindness (visual acuity <3/60) are reported. Causes were classified by the anatomical site affected and by underlying etiology based on the timing of the insult and causal factor.


Conclusion/Results

RESULTS 

A total of 92 children were examined, and 71 (77.2%) of them had severe vision impairment and blindness. The major causes of vision loss were corneal scars (16.9%), cataract (12.7%), phthisis bulbi (11.3%), congenital eye deformities (11.3%), optic atrophy (9.3%), and presumed chorioretinal Toxoplasma scars (7.0%). Hereditary factors were the major known etiological category (15.5%) followed by the sequel of eye injuries (12.7%). Blindness due to vitamin A deficiency was not found, whereas infectious causes such as measles and ophthalmia neonatorum were relatively absent (one case each). Potentially avoidable causes of vision impairment were accounted for in 47.9% of children.

CONCLUSIONS 

This study provides the first direct evidence on childhood vision impairment in Eritrea. Despite the limitations, it is clearly shown that nearly half of the vision loss is due to avoidable causes. Thus, preventive public health strategies, specialist pediatric eye care, and rehabilitative services are recommended to address childhood vision impairment in Eritrea.


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I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


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My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


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This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.


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