Requirement of Optometric Services in Children with Low Vision Due to Congenital Eye Anomalies

Ayesha Saleem, Asad Aslam Khan, Ubaid Ullah Jan


Purpose: Purpose of this study was to evaluate specific needs of patients with low vision due to congenital eye anomalies

Introduction: Severe visual impairment (SVI) and blindness in infants must be detected as early as possible to initiate immediate treatment to prevent deep amblyopia. Problems in the embryonic developmental process can lead to congenital eye malformations, such as albinism, amblyopia, high congenital refractive errors, strabismus, retinopathy of prematurity, nystagmus, anophthalmia, microphthalmia, coloboma and aniridia. Symptoms include an abnormal-looking eye and reduced eye vision. After medical and surgical assistance, a child may require optometric services e.g. spectacles, low vision aids, contact lens, rehabilitation techniques and counseling. Material & methods: Sixty five children visually impaired but still having some functional vision with congenital eye anomalies were included in the study. All those children were. All cases were checked, diagnosed, treated (medically and surgically) by ophthalmologists before being referred to the optometrist. Results: Twenty two children had myopic shift, Sixteen children showed hypermetropic shift and Fifteen children showed astigmatism with all types. Twelve children were having no refractive error or a little amount of refractive error which was not considered significant. These, were directly treated with low vision aids. Forty (61%) children having Visual Acuity equivalent to or better than 6/18, showed improvement of visual acuity of one or two lines with refraction or contact lens. Twenty two (33%) cases, having visual acuity less than 6/18, were managed with distance low vision aids. Three (4%) out of 65 children were having PL visual acuity. All those were treated with non optical low vision devices and counseling.

49 (75%) children could read 12M on Near Light House Visual Acuity chart at 40 cm unaided or with distance refraction. 13 (20%) children were provided with magnifiers to reach this level. Three (4.6%) children having PL distance VA showed no results on near VA chart unaided, aided or with distance correction


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