Oculo-visual Assessment of Children and Adolescents with Special Needs in Selected Schools within IMO State, Nigeria
Ophthalmology Research: An International Journal,
Aim: This was a cross-sectional study conducted to assess the oculo-visual status of children with special needs in three selected special schools in Imo State, Nigeria.
Children with special needs are at a higher risk of visual impairment as compared to normal population. Interestingly, majority of the ocular disorders are treatable.
Methodology: The study was conducted on children ages 5-25years (mean 12.0 ± 3.2 years) and detailed ocular examination on 296 children using standard examination techniques was recorded. Results: Results revealed that oculo-visual disorders were seen in 196 (66.2%) children. Oculo-visual disorders were found in 75.5% of children with hearing impairment, 83.3% in children with cerebral palsy, 75% in children with autism, 85.7% in children with Down syndrome, 38.6% in children with speech disability, and 64% in children who are deaf and dumb. The most common ocular disorders seen in these children were refractive errors (30.5%), strabismus (12.7%), amblyopia (8.9%) and cataract (7.7%). Children requiring further evaluation were referred to base hospitals in Imo State, Nigeria.
Conclusion: Oculo-visual problem is highly prevalent among children with special needs in Imo State, most commonly, the problems were refractive errors, strabismus, amblyopia, cataract and cornea disorders. The prevalence was predominant among the female teenagers (15-19years). Government and stakeholders in the health care and humanitarian sectors should place more priority on the ocular-health status of children with special needs.
- Refractive errors
- cornea disorders
How to Cite
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