Refractive Error among Male Primary School Students in Jazan, Saudi Arabia: Prevalence and Associated Factors
Tariq Al Bahhawi1, Anwar M Makeen1, Hadi Hassan Daghreeri2, Mohannad Faisal Tobaigy2, Abdulrahman Mohammed Adawi2, Faisal Mohammed Guhal2, Murad Abdullah Akkur2, Mohsen Jaber Alotayfi2, Mutaz Mohammed Otayf 2, Meshal Salem Bajoned2, Mohamed Salih Mahfouz*, 1
1 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University, Jazan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University, Jazan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Refractive error is a common and serious eye disorder that affects more than 153 million people globally. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and pattern of refractive error among male primary school children in Jazan region, Saudi Arabia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among a randomly selected group of 395 students (aged 6-14 years) in Jazan region, Southwest Saudi Arabia. An optometrist and medical students assessed the refraction error using an autorefractor, a Snellen E chart and retinoscopy.
The overall prevalence of uncorrected refractive error in either eye was, 22% higher among rural students. The most prevalent refractive error was hyperopia (32.2%) followed by myopic astigmatism (31%) then myopia (17.2%). Next were hyperopic astigmatism (16.1%) and mixed astigmatism (3.5%). The following variables were associated with a higher risk of refractive errors and myopia: living in rural areas, having parents with refractive errors, spending more time on electronic devices and shorter visual distances.
Refractive error was highly prevalent among primary school children in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. The rural students were more affected by refractive errors, mainly hyperopia. The preschool vision test should be reconsidered, and a periodic vision examination should be applied to detect vision problems as early as possible.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University, Jazan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org