Background: Uncorrected refractive error is a public health problem among school-going children. Children with refractive errors exhibit learning disabilities and poor performance. Refractive errors cannot be stopped, but they can be detected by early eye examination and treated with corrective glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.
Objective: To detect the prevalence of uncorrected refractive error in a school at Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Varni Digamber Jain Gurukul schoolchildren in the age group of 5–15 years. Children were screened for visual acuity with the help of Snellen’s chart. The children who showed refractive problems in preliminary screening were confirmed by ophthalmologist at Department of Ophthalmology, NSCB Medical College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Result: A total number of 200 students were screened in the study. In the preliminary screening, a total number of 22 (11%) cases were detected with the problem of refractive error. After confirmation by ophthalmologist through refraction trial, only nine (4.5%) cases were found to show refractory problems. Most of the cases belonged to the age group of 5–8 years. Refractive error was 3.5 times more present in males when compared with female subjects. In four (44.44%) cases, parental history of refractive problems was observed. In this study, 183 (91.5%) children were having both of their eyes normal. Other eye problems were lacrimation and redness in four (2%) cases, followed by squint in two (1%), and Bitot’s spot in two (1%).
Conclusion: Uncorrected refractive error is a common public health problem of visual impairment studied in schoolchildren of Jabalpur district. Vision screening is the most appropriate strategy to detect early visual impairment.
Uncorrected refractive error, schoolchildren, Snellen’s chart