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Ayotunde I Ajaiyeoba, Michaeline A Isawumi, Adenike O Adeoye, Tunji S Oluleye

Pattern of eye diseases and visual impairment among students in southwestern Nigeria

publication date
2007 Jun 22
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Purpose: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence and causes of eye diseases and visual impairment in students in the Ilesa East local government area of Osun state, Nigeria.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey that utilised a multistage random sampling method to select 1,144 primary and secondary school students.


Results: A total of 1,144 students (504 males and 640 females) were involved in the study. Their ages ranged from 4 to 24 years. The majority (97.8%) of them were below 18 years of age. A total of 177 (15.5%) of the school children were found to have eye diseases. The major ocular disorders were in the following order: conjunctiva 91 (51.4%), refractive error 66 (37.3%), lid 7 (4.0%), corneal, including staphyloma and keratoconus 5 (2.8%) and then others. These included conjunctival diseases 91 (8%) constituted mainly by allergic/vernal conjunctivitis 85 (7.4%), refractive error 66 (5.8%), lid disorders 6 (0.6%), squint 3 (0.3%), corneal scarring 3 (0.3%) and cataract 2 (0.2%). A total of 15 students were visually impaired, with a prevalence of 1.26%. Only two students were blind, with a prevalence of 0.17%. Causes of visual impairment were refractive error 10 (0.87%), bilateral immature cataract 1 (0.08%), corneal opacities 2 (0.2%), amblyopia leading to squint 1 (0.08%) and cataract 1 (0.08%). The causes of blindness in students were bilateral corneal scars presumed to be due to vitamin A deficiency in one (0.08%) student and complicated bilateral keratoconus with complicated vernal ulcers in another (0.08%).

Conclusions: Eye diseases are common amongst Nigerian students. Eye examination for all new intakes and regular screening in both public and private primary and secondary schools is advocated. Wearing of corrective glasses should be emphasised for children with refractive error. Causes of blindness and visual impairment in children attending regular schools in Nigeria were avoidable.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

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Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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