Photostress Recovery Time Among Welders in Owerri Municipal Council, Southeast, Nigeria
Purpose: The photostress recovery time (PSRT) scores of welders were measured based on age, workexperience and welding-method.
Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted among 50 purposively sampled welders, who had clear ocular media, healthy fundi and visual acuities of 6/6 or better in the tested eyes. The pre-bleach distant visual acuity of the right eye was determined with the Snellen’s visual acuity chart, while direct ophthalmoscopy was done to rule out media opacities, retinopathies and maculopathies. The right eye was dazzled for 10 seconds with the light of a direct ophthalmoscope held at 2cm from the eye. The time required in seconds to read at least, three optotypes on the line directly above the baseline acuity was recorded as the PSRT.
Results: The 22-31 years age group recorded the least mean PSRT (16±8.8seconds), followed by the 32-41 age group (19.9±6.8 seconds), while the 42-51 years category had the highest mean PSRT (31.4±10.5seconds). Age associated significantly (p˂0.05) with mean PSRT. Welders within the 1-12 years’ work experience had the least mean PSRT (15.9±8.1seconds) while those within the 25-36 years recorded the highest mean PSRT (33.4±9.3seconds). The observed difference in mean PSRT with years of work experience was statistically significant (p˂0.05). Gas welders had significantly (p˂0.05) higher mean PSRT (26.6±9.9secs) than electric arc welders (16.6±9.2secs).
Conclusion: Gas welding, increasing age and work-experience were found to be predictive markers of elevated photostress recovery time (PSRT) among welders. This underscores the need for eye-care practitioners to routinize PSRT tests in the ocular assessment of welders.
Keywords: Photostress recovery time (PSRT); electric-arc; gas welding; welders; age.
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