Characteristics of visually impaired children aged below 4 years in two public tertiary hospitals in Selangor, Malaysia

Victor Feizal Knight, Nurhafizah Muhd Khairi, Rokiah Omar, Azura Ramlee, Muhammad Mohd Isa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence and causes of visually impairment among children below 4 years old in two public tertiary referral hospitals in Selangor, Malaysia. In this cross-sectional retrospective study, the case files of all children aged below 4 years from the ophthalmology clinics in two separate public hospitals in Selangor, Malaysia were analysed over a 5-year period. The definition of visual impairment was based on the World Health Organization (WHO) classification, i.e. moderate visual impairment: visual acuity < 6/18 to 6/60 in the better eye; severe visual impairment: < 6/60 to 3/60 in the better eye; and blindness: visual acuity < 3/60 in the better eye. Prevalence of visual impairment was based on the presenting visual acuity and then differentiated according to the cause of visual impairment diagnosed. A total of 243 (17.38%) children from a total of 1,398 children were classified as visually impaired. Most of these children (n=119, 49.0%) exhibited moderate visual impairment, 26 (10.7%) had severe visual impairment, while 98 (40.3%) were blind. Refractive errors (n=60, 24.7%) were the most common cause of vision impairment, mostly myopes (n=28, 46.7 %). This was followed by strabismus (n=31, 12.8%) and retinopathy of prematurity (n=29, 11.9%). In conclusion, vision impairment was prevalent in children aged below 4 years old presenting to two ophthalmology clinics in a highly urbanised region in Malaysia. High refractive errors were the major cause of vision impairment seen. Our study highlights the need and utmost importance of an early intervention programme to be implemented for these children since the main cause of vision impairment found in this study is an easily treated problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalMalaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine
Volume2018
Issue numberSpecialissue1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2018

Fingerprint

Public Hospitals
Malaysia
Vision Disorders
Tertiary Care Centers
Visual Acuity
Refractive Errors
Ophthalmology
Retinopathy of Prematurity
Strabismus
Blindness
Retrospective Studies
Cross-Sectional Studies

Keywords

  • Blindness
  • Children
  • Prevalence
  • Visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Characteristics of visually impaired children aged below 4 years in two public tertiary hospitals in Selangor, Malaysia. / Knight, Victor Feizal; Khairi, Nurhafizah Muhd; Omar, Rokiah; Ramlee, Azura; Isa, Muhammad Mohd.

In: Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine, Vol. 2018, No. Specialissue1, 31.03.2018, p. 18-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Knight, Victor Feizal ; Khairi, Nurhafizah Muhd ; Omar, Rokiah ; Ramlee, Azura ; Isa, Muhammad Mohd. / Characteristics of visually impaired children aged below 4 years in two public tertiary hospitals in Selangor, Malaysia. In: Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine. 2018 ; Vol. 2018, No. Specialissue1. pp. 18-25.
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