J Med Assoc Thai 2010; 93 (10):1205

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Refractive Errors Survey in Primary School Children (6-12 Year Old) in 2 Provinces: Bangkok and Nakhonpathom (One Year Result)
Yingyong P Mail

Background: Refractive error is an important cause of preventable visual impairment and blindness worldwide. Populationbased
studies will continue to be a key part in identification of the magnitude and the importance of this common eye disease.

Objective: To assess the prevalence of the refractive error in primary school-aged children in Bangkok and Nakhonpathom
together with the provision of the appropriately free of charge spectacles.

Material and Method: A Population-based cross-sectional analytic study was conducted between October 2008 and September
2009.Random selection of geographically defined clusters was used to identify the study sample. The examination included
visual acuity (VA) by Snellen chart and pinhole correction, autorefraction under cycloplegic refraction, ocular motility
evaluation, examination of the external eye, anterior segment, media, and fundus. Ophthalmologists screened for ocular
abnormalities.

Results: Among 2,340 children, 1,100 in Bangkok and 1,240 in Nakhonpathom were examined. The prevalence of refractive
error in Bangkok and Nakhornpathom were 12.7% and 5.7% respectively. Refractive error was the cause in 97.6% of eyes
with reduced vision, amblyopia in 0.5%, other causes in 0.8%, and unexplained causes in 1.1%.

Conclusion: The present study showed a relative high prevalence of uncorrected refractive error in the central part of
Thailand especially in Bangkok. Eye health education and screening is recommended to evaluate the need for refractive
correction with appropriate prescription of spectacles.

Keywords: Refractive Errors, Survey, Primary School Children, Bangkok, Nakhonpathom

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