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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 123-129

Etiology of permanent visual impairment among persons attending a disability board in Central Kerala

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. T Devu Krishna
Adwaitham, Green Lane, M G Kavu P O, Thrissur, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kjo.kjo_205_21

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Introduction: Permanent visual handicap is one of the most troublesome disabilities to affect an individual, a family, and a society. Objectives: To determine the important etiological factors leading to permanent visual impairment (VI) in Kerala and their frequency trends over the recent years. Materials and Methods: Retrospective study of case records of the medical board of a government medical college hospital in Kerala from 2017 to 2020. Inclusion Criteria: Data of all individuals with permanent VI of categories 1 to 4. Exclusion Criteria: Category zero of permanent disability. The guidelines included under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 were followed for assessing the extent of visual disability. The age, gender, place, diagnosis in the right eye, diagnosis in the left eye, and percentage of disability were entered in an Excel spreadsheet and analyzed by SPSS software (version 20.0). Results: Data of 545 persons were analyzed. The mean age ± SD was 36.21 ± 17.70 years. Most of the study population were males (n = 348, 63.85%). The most frequent etiological factors noted are congenital malformations of the eye (20.18%), high myopia (14.13%), corneal blindness (13.58%), trauma (11.56%), optic atrophy (10.46%), retinitis pigmentosa (7.34%), and advanced diabetic eye disease (3.85%). 50% of factors were preventable and nearly 50% were causing progressive worsening of disability. Conclusion: There is a slowly increasing proportion of congenital malformations, congenital cataracts, and glaucoma. Corneal blindness showed a decreasing trend.

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