Visual Acuity in Primary School Pupils in Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Visual impairment is usually due to conditions that could be diagnosed and corrected if discovered early. However many cases go undiagnosed. Restoration of sight is among the most cost-effective interventions in health care.
Methodology: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study, carried out to determine the prevalence of refractive error, squint, and colour vision defect among primary school students. One hundred and eighty three pupils, aged 5-11 years were selected. Visual Acuity was measured using the Snellen chart. Colour vision and squint were assessed using the Ishikara colour vision test plates and corneal reflex test respectively. The tests were conducted by two optometrists with the assistance of a teacher and a class assistant.
Results: Most (78% ) of the study population were found to have good visual acuity, 18.6 percent had fair vision , while 3.3 percent had poor vision. Prevalence (%) of refractive error, colour vision and squint among the study population were 21, 0.04 and 1.6, respectively. Majority of the students had good visual acuity and refractive error was the major cause (95%) of all reduction in visual acuity.
Conclusion: Eye defects occur among school children with potential negative effects. Pre-school entry eye examinations and regular screening is advocated and glasses should be made available for children with refractive error.
Keywords: Visual Acuity, Screening, School Children, School Health