Prevalence and Pattern of Ocular Co-morbidity in Patients with Refractive Error in a Private Hospital in North-Central Nigeria: A 10 year Review
Background: Refractive error (RE) is the second most common cause of preventable blindness, and its correction is now a priority for eye care programs. Some patients with RE may not be able to attain optimal visual outcome after refraction because of associated ocular comorbidity. The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence and pattern of refractive errors with ocular co-morbidity in a private specialist eye care centre.
Methodology: This is a retrospective hospital based study of eye patients of all ages with impaired distant visual acuity that improved with refraction, who also had associated ocular co-morbidity.
Results: Out of 2898 patients seen with eye conditions from 2000 to 2009, there were 912(31.5%) with various types of RE. Records of 569 (62.4%) of those with distant RE were available for analysis. There were 250(43.9%) males and 319 (56.1%) females. Their ages ranged from 5
to 80 years (SD 17.03). There were 172 (30.2%) associated ocular conditions in those with RE. Allergic conjunctivitis in 88(51.2%) was the most frequent ocular co-morbid condition, followed by pterygium in 20 (11.6%), glaucoma in 19(11.0%), posterior segment diseases (PSD) in 16 (9.2%) cataract in 12(7.0%), and other ocular conditions in 17(10.0%) Vision impairing co-morbidities were present in 49(28.5%) while non-vision impairing diseases were found in 123(71.5%) of the patients. More females 98(57.0%) had associated ocular diseases, with AC in (56.1%) and pterygium 12(12.2%) while more males were seen with glaucoma (11; 14.9%), cataract (6;8.1%), posterior segment disease (8;10.8%) and other ocular conditions (8; 10.8%) in association. Glaucoma was seen in association with high myopia and allergic conjunctivitis was more prevalent among the patients with near normal vision (64 of 95; 67.4%), while posterior segment disease in 9 out of 36 (25%) was higher in those with moderate VI <6/18- 6/60, and glaucoma found mainly in those with
moderate or severe visual impairment (Table 6).
Conclusion: On the whole this study shows that there is a high prevalence of associated ocular diseases in patients who present with refractive errors.
Key Words: Refractive error, ocular co-morbidity