Ocular problems among public service retirees in a Southern Nigerian Metropolitan City
Background: Advancing age is a recognized risk factor for blindness and visual impairment worldwide. More than 82% of all blind people are 50 years or older. This therefore places a huge public health and socioeconomic burden on the populace, often leading to social dependence.
Aim: To determine the pattern, profile, and risk factors of eye diseases among retired public servants in Port Harcourt City, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: Participants were retired public servants who consented to ocular examinations at their pension pay points in Port Harcourt during the 2012 World Sight Day. Visual acuity, ocular examinations including fundoscopy and intraocular pressure measurements were recorded and subsequently analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20.
Results: Five hundred and ninety‑two persons were studied; 455 males and 137 females (F: M = 1:3.3). The Mean age was 68.7 ± 7.6 years (range: 56–97 years). Using World Health Organization/ International Agency for Prevention of Blindness criteria for visual assessment 239 (40.4%) had good vision, 203 (34.3%) had moderate visual impairment, 48 (8.1%) had severe visual impairment, while 102 subjects (17.2%) were blind. Cataract was the leading cause of blindness 56 (54.9%), followed by glaucoma 18 (17.7%), uncorrected refractive error 19 (18.6%), and diabetic retinopathy 9 (8.8%).
Conclusion: Visual impairment and blindness are common causes of ocular morbidity among retirees of public service in Port Harcourt. It is therefore advocated that special eye health care intervention by governments and nongovernmental agencies be extended to these groups of people.
Keywords: Metropolitan city, ocular problems, retirees