Causse of Adult Blindness at ECWA Eye Hospital, Kano
AbstractAim: To identify the cause of adult blindness at ECWA Eye
Materials and methods: It was a hospital-based prospective study. Blindness was defined as vision of <3/60 in the better eye. The history of each patient was taken and a routine ocular examination was conducted using a Snellen or E-chart, a pen torch, a slit lamp and an ophthalmoscope. The IOP was also taken. The main causes of blindness and their primary
anatomical sites were recorded.
Results: The study group comprised 622 adults; 400 were bilaterally blind while 222 were blind in one eye. The mean age of the bilaterally blind patients was 54.1 years (range 17 to 94 years). Two hundred and sixty-three (65.7%) of the study group were male and 137 (26.3%) were female. The most common causes of blindness were cataract, glaucoma
and corneal opacity/keratitis, accounting for 162 (40.5%), 117 (29.3%) and 57 (14.3%) of blindness respectively in the bilaterally blind. Cataract, corneal opacity/keratitis and glaucoma were the most common causes of blindness, accounting for 94 (42.3%), 28 (12.6%) and 19 (8.7%) of the
unilaterally blind cases.
Conclusion: Avoidable causes of blindness were predominant at
ECWA Eye Hospital, Kano. Concerted efforts at increasing cataract surgical volume, awareness and early treatment of glaucoma as well as education on prevention and early treatment of corneal ulcers will markedly decrease blindness rate at the centre.