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Objective: To determine the pattern of eye disorders among Nigerian Niger Delta region residents as a basis for preventive ophthalmology.
Methodology: This study was a retrospective study involving an eleven-year cumulative review of clinical records from the Ophthalmology Clinic of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. Data on eye disorders were retrieved from the Ophthalmology Clinic records and manually entered into a computer-spread sheet. Double entry check was performed to avoid errors in computer entry. The respective eye disorders from the records were summed to obtain the absolute and relative cumulative frequencies and appropriately presented using horizontal bar chart. Data analyzed with United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epi-Info version 7 software.
Results: The cumulative total record from the Ophthalmology Clinic was 55,109 from a total of 41 eye disorders. The absolute and relative frequencies of the identified eye disorders from the clinic are presented in horizontal bar chart. The top five ocular disorders were glaucoma (26.97%), refractive error (26.06%), cataract (10.60%), allergic conjunctivitis (9.31%) and bacterial conjunctivitis (5.02%) while the least common cases seen include pan uveitis (0.08%), herpes zoster ophthalmicus (0.07%) pingueculum (0.07%), painful blind eye (0.06%) and orbital cellulitis (0.05%). The anterior segment subspecialty (34.76%) accounted for majority of cases seen followed by glaucoma subspecialty (26.97%), oculoplasty (4.04%), vitreo-retinal (2.4%), paediatric (0.74%), neuro-ophthalmology (0.7%). Cases which cut-across more than one subspecialty group accounted for 28.19%.
Conclusion: The commonest eye disorders identified in this study are among the major causes of avoidable blindness in developing countries including Nigeria. To reduce the burden of blindness and visual impairment would involve a concerted effort to tackle these disorders especially by developing the various ophthalmic subspecialties.