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The visual status of adolescents in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a population study

Authors Alsaqr A, Abu Sharha A, Fagehi R, Almutairi A, Alosaimi S, Almalki A, Alluwaymi A

Received 12 January 2018

Accepted for publication 29 March 2018

Published 22 May 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 965—972


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Ali Alsaqr, Ali Abu Sharha, Raied Fagehi, Awatif Almutairi, Sarah Alosaimi, Abdulrahman Almalki, Abdulaziz Alluwaymi

Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Purpose: The visual status of adolescents in Saudi Arabia (SA) has not been well reported. To date, the prevalence and types of refractive errors (REs), amblyopia, strabismus, and correctable visual impairments have not been quantified. The aim of the study was to investigate the visual status in adolescents in Riyadh, SA.
Methods: This study was based on a population cross-sectional and random cluster design. After design and the sample calculations, 1,007 participants, 12–20 years of age, were screened during the study. Nine participants were excluded due to ocular disorders. The participants were assessed for REs, distance visual acuity logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, contrast sensitivity, stereoacuity, pinhole test findings, and cover–uncover test findings.
Results: The results showed that 55.5% of the participants had some form of REs, while correctable visual impairment was found in one-fifth of the screened participants. Myopia was the dominant type (53.3%, ranged from -0.50 DS to -14.00 DS), whereas hyperopia was found in 2.2% (+2.00 DS to +5.50 DS) and astigmatism was present in 15% (-0.75 DC to -5.25 DC). Only 43% of the participants had corrected REs; however, the noncompliance for spectacle use was 20.25%.
Conclusion: This study was the first attempt to investigate the visual status in adolescents in SA. It provided estimations of the REs, amblyopia, and strabismus. The high prevalence of REs emphasizes the need to identify the best proactive strategies to detect and manage REs to reduce the incidence of visual impairment in SA. Increasing awareness about eye health and employing efficient screening programs could help to address the need for REs corrections.

Keywords: amblyopia, myopia, refractive errors, Riyadh, Saudi, strabismus, visual impairment

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