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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-11

Burden of visual disability in children with other disabilities


1 Department of Ophthalmology, Aarupadai Veedu Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Squint, Aravind Eye Hospital and Postgraduate Institute, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ganapathy Kalaiselvi
Aarupadai Veedu Medical College and Hospital, Kirumampakkam, Puducherry - 607 403
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/tjosr.tjosr_115_18

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Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the visual function of children with other disabilities and to identify the preventable and treatable ocular comorbidities. Materials and Methods: This study was a cross-sectional study included children aged 3–16 years who were on speech therapy sessions. After consent from parents or guardian who accompanied the child, relevant medical history was noted. Distant visual acuities were measured using picture chart, Snellen tumbling E-chart or Cardiff preferential looking cards, and complete ocular examination was performed. Cycloplegic retinoscopy was done in all children. Spectacles and low-vision aids were prescribed appropriately. Results: Out of 83 children with learning disabilities attending speech therapy clinics who were enrolled, fifty four (65%) had ocular disorders. Refractive error was identified in 31 children(37.34%), Strabismus and nystagmus in 12 children (14.45%), cataract in 4 children (4.81%), disc pallor and retinal detachment in 2 children each (2.4%), while microphthalmos, congenital glaucoma and coloboma were noted in one child each (1.2%). Thirty-five children were not cooperative for visual acuity assessment while 13 of them had more than one ocular abnormality. Only two of the 31 students with refractive errors were using spectacles. Conclusion: The poor communication and poor cooperation of these children with disabilities add on to the burden of their disabilities as the ocular abnormalities are not recognized early. Therefore, a multidisciplinary treatment approach needs to be stressed, while the awareness among the parents and caregivers needs to be developed to help these children in their learning process and rehabilitation.


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