Ocular Co-morbidity in Patients with Refractive Errors in Nigeria

Adegbehingbe, Bernice ; Adeoye, Adenike ; Adewara, Bolajoko (2011)



Purpose: To determine the pattern and prevalence of other ocular problems seen in patients with refractive errors in a Nigerian teaching hospital. Methods: A retrospective hospital-based review of all consecutive patients who presented with signs and symptoms of refractive errors at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex between 1st January 2007 and 31 August 2007. Patients who had a diagnosis of refractive error and subsequently had detailed eye examination were included in this study. Data was retrieved from the patients’ clinical records and analyzed with SPSS version 15. Results: Out of 724 new patients seen within the study period, 235 had refractive errors (93 males and 142 females). Patients’ ages ranged between 7 and 74 years with a mean of 30.5+/ - 4.6 years. In more than half 54%) of the patients, associated ocular co-morbidities were documented. The vision-impairing diseases documented morbidities in 56 (44.1) patients were cataract 26 (20.5%), glaucoma 20 (15.8%), diabetic maculopathy 3 (2.7%), amblyopia, corneal opacities and CMV retinitis. Non-vision-impairing disorders documented were conjunctivitis, 49 (38.6%); pterygium 6 (4.7%), chalazion 5 (3.9%), hypertensive retinopathy 4 (3.1%), dry eyes and episcleritis. Immature cataract was responsible for about 2/3 of cases with poor corrected visual acuity documented in a large proportion of the patients 26 (11.1%). Conclusion: Patients with refractive errors need detailed ocular examination for early detection of other comorbidities which may significantly affect vision and lead to avoidable blindness and visual impairment.