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Aim: To determine the magnitude of presbyopia and the effect of uncorrected presbyopia on vision-related quality of life in Calabar South, Nigeria.
Study Design: A community-based, descriptive cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Calabar South Local Government Area, Nigeria, between November 2016 and February 2017.
Methods: We included 422 adults (198 men, 224 women) aged 35 years and above, selected by cluster random sampling. Subjective distance refraction was done on all participants with distant visual acuity less than 6/6. Near visual acuity was assessed at 40 centimetres with a Times Roman near vision (British N system) chart, with distant correction in place if required. Presbyopia was defined as inability to read N8 at 40 centimetres unaided or with habitually worn distance refractive correction, with improvement of near vision by at least one line on a Times Roman near vision chart with use of a plus lens. An adapted and validated quality of life questionnaires were administered to the participants.
Results: A total of 422 participants were examined and interviewed. The prevalence of presbyopia was 55.5%. There was no significant association between gender and prevalence of presbyopia. The presbyopia correction coverage in the study population was 38.0% with a strong positive correlation between age and the required near vision spectacle lens power (r = 0.88, p < .001). Another key finding was a significant association between uncorrected presbyopia and reduced quality of life.
Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that the burden of presbyopia in the study population is enormous in spite of the fact that it has a cost effective intervention. The key findings in this study underscore the need to scale up presbyopic correction services in the study area.
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