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Clinical characteristics and causes of visual impairment in a low vision clinic in northern Jordan

Authors Bakkar MM, Alzghoul EA, Haddad MF

Received 11 October 2017

Accepted for publication 20 February 2018

Published 3 April 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 631—637

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S153754

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


May M Bakkar, Eman A Alzghoul, Mera F Haddad

Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Department of Allied Medical Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan

Aim: The aim of the study was to identify causes of visual impairment among patients attending a low vision clinic in the north of Jordan and to study the relevant demographic characteristics of these patients.
Subjects and methods: The retrospective study was conducted through a review of clinical records of 135 patients who attended a low vision clinic in Irbid. Clinical characteristics of the patients were collected, including age, gender, primary cause of low vision, best corrected visual acuity, and current prescribed low vision aids. Descriptive statistics analysis using numbers and percentages were calculated to summarize categorical and nominal data.
Results: A total of 135 patients (61 [45.2%] females and 74 [54.8%] males) were recruited in the study. Mean age ± standard deviation for the study population was 24.53 ± 16.245 years; age range was 5–90 years. Of the study population, 26 patients (19.3%) had mild visual impairment, 61 patients (45.2%) had moderate visual impairment, 27 patients (20.0%) had severe visual impairment, and 21 patients (15.6%) were blind. The leading causes of visual impairment across all age groups were albinism (31.9%) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP) (18.5%). Albinism also accounted for the leading cause of visual impairment among the pediatric age group (0–15 years) while albinism, RP, and keratoconus were the primary causes of visual impairment for older patients. A total of 59 patients (43.7%) were given low vision aids either for near or distance. The only prescribed low vision aids for distances were telescopes. For near, spectacle-type low vision aid was the most commonly prescribed low vision aids.
Conclusion: Low vision services in Jordan are still very limited. A national strategy programme to increase awareness of low vision services should be implemented, and health care policies should be enforced to cover low vision aids through the national medical insurance.

Keywords: low vision, visual impairment, low vision aids, Jordan, low vision services

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