Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology

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Childhood Eye Diseases in Sagamu

OT Bodunde, OO Onabolu


Objectives: To determine childhood eye diseases in Sagamu and compare the findings with those of other centres.

Method: This retrospective study covers a 3-year period (Jan 1999 – Dec 2001). Diagnoses were made by ophthalmology consultants after full examination of the eyes. A follow-up of the patients was done by ophthalmology residents

Results: A total of 707 new paediatric cases presented at the ophthalmology outpatient clinic during the study period. This represents 22.51% of new cases (adults and children) presenting at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH). The overall male-female ratio was 1.2:1. Conjunctivitis (45.97%) – in particular allergic conjunctivitis (78.76% of cases of conjunctivitis), followed by refractive error (24.61%), and trauma (11.32%) were the most common causes of ocular morbidity in children. Lid diseases (3.54%), corneal scar (2.83%) and neuro-ophthalmic diseases were found to be less common. Factors favouring allergic conjunctivitis are the agrarian occupation of the people and a dusty environment.

Conclusion: The common causes of childhood ocular morbidity in Sagamu are comparable to the findings in studies conducted in some other centres. It was found that corneal scarring has reduced in children, probably due to a better awareness of measles immunization. Allergic conjunctivitis, however, has become an important cause of ocular morbidity in children. Refractive error was also found to be an important cause of ocular morbidity in this study as in other studies. This probably justifies its inclusion in the vision 2020 programme.
Key Words: corneal scarring, allergic conjunctivitis, refractive error, ocular morbidity
Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology Vol.12 (1) 2004: 6-9
AJOL African Journals Online