Pattern of eye diseases among welders in a Nigeria community
Background: Welders have been identified as a high risk group for eye disorders due to their exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Objective: To determine the prevalence and types of eye diseases amongst welders in Ile-Ife, Osun state.
Methods: This is a cross sectional descriptive study of 405 consenting welders. Information on socio-demographic characteristics was obtained using a pre-tested proforma and all subjects had visual actuity test, anterior and posterior segments examination, test of stereopsis and macular function.
Results: Two hundred and seventy five (67.9%) of the respondents were arc welders, 99(22.5%) were gas welders while 39(9.6%) utilized both welding techniques. The age of the respondents ranged from 16 years to 80 years with a mean of 38 ± 13 years. Conjunctival degenerative disorders like pingueculum (50.1%) and pterygium(17.5%) constituted the commonest eye disorders among the welders. There were 6 blind eyes of 5 welders with pigmentary maculopathy accounting for the single case of bilateral blindness. There is a greater odd in developing pingueculum and Pterygium (OR=1.015, 1.039 respectively) in arc welders than in gas welders.
Conclusion: Pingueculum, Pterygium, corneal opacity, and pigmentary macular deposits were the common eye disorders among welders.
Key words: eye disorders, welders, Nigeria