Main Article Content
Aims: To determine the epidemiological and clinical aspects of ametropia and their impact on low vision.
Study Design: Retrospective.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Ophthalmology, University and Hospital Center of Brazzaville Congo between January 2014 and December 2016.
Methodology: The records of 1,126 children aged 5–15 years who attended the ophthalmic department were assessed. A refractive error was considered visual acuity less than 0.7 (decimal
notation of visual acuity) on the measurement of visual acuity by far in monocular to 5 meters using otoptypes adapted for age.
Results: Of the 1,126 records, 432 children had a refractive disorder, with a relative frequency of 38.3%. Of these, 242 (56%) were males, and 190 (44%) were females. Concerning the reasons for consultation, a headache ranked first 218 (50.5%), followed by problems with visual acuity 106 (24.5%). Astigmatism was the most common type of ametropia 348 (80.6%), followed by myopia 52 (12%) and farsightedness 32 (7.4%). Astigmatism was present in 52.4% of boys and 28.2% of girls (P<0.05). Astigmatism was associated with myopia in 15.7% of cases and hyperopia in 7% of cases. The mean age of the patients was 10.4 years, with children aged 8–10 years accounting for the majority of cases (n = 231, 53.4%). Visual acuity was ≤0.7 in 432 patients with refractive errors. Ametropia did not improve in 9 (2%) cases. There were 2 cases (0.5%) of anisometropia. In the majority of 296 (68.5%) cases, ametropia was not severe. In 225 (52.9%) ametropic cases, the astigmatism was the simple form.
Conclusion: The prevalence of ametropia observed in this study points to the need for action to enable early detection and treatment.