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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 258-261

A retrospective study of patients with visual impairment: Its magnitude, causes, and acceptance of the low vision Aids in a tertiary eye care hospital

1 Glaucoma Services, Aravind Eye Hospital, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Neuro-Ophthalmology Services, Aravind Eye Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India
4 Neuro-Ophthalmology Services, Aravind Eye Hospital, Puducherry, India
5 General Ophthalmology, Aravind Eye Hospital, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sivagami Nachiappan
Aravind Eye Hospital, Cuddalore Main Road, Thavalakuppam, Puducherry - 605 007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjosr.tjosr_72_20

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Aim: The study aims to highlight the importance of a low vision clinic and give a profile of patients presenting to a low vision clinic at a tertiary eye care hospital. Materials and Methods: Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Institutional. Study population: Details of 9,601 patients who presented to our low vision clinic between January 2009 and June 2015 were analyzed from our database. Data obtained include age group, best-corrected visual acuity, cause of low vision, type of low vision aids (LVA) prescribed, acceptance of the device, and the provision of additional rehabilitation services. Statistical Analysis: Categorical variables were given in the frequency tables with percentages. Results: Around 70.7% of patients were found to have low vision and 29.3% were found to have blindness. We note that 65% of the patients were <40 years of age. The major causes of visual impairment were retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, pathological myopia, optic atrophy, glaucoma, albinism, and congenital nystagmus. LVA was prescribed to 2689 individuals. The most commonly prescribed LVA were spectacle magnifiers, hand, and stand magnifiers. However, the acceptance rate was just 38%. The rest were given either standard spectacles or were referred to rehabilitation centers if the vision was very poor. Conclusion: There is a young population with visual impairment and highly under-utilized low vision services. Improving the acceptance rate of these devices would help enhance the individual's quality of life part of which could be done by reducing the cost of these devices.

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