Global prevalence and causes of visual impairment with special reference to the general population of Saudi Arabia

Farhan Khashim Al-Swailmi

Abstract


Objective: This review was undertaken to highlight the worldwide prevalence and causes of visual impairment (VI), on the basis of a wide range of recent and clearly defined data and in comparison with published articles from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Methods: These data are mainly based on PubMed indexed journal articles. Some representative surveys from each of the six WHO regions across the globe were included in this review with special reference to Saudi Arabian studies.

Results: Published literature show that the prevalence and causes of VI varies markedly in different parts of the world and from region to region within the same country. Cataract, uncorrected refractive errors and glaucoma were shown to be the leading causes of VI worldwide and in Saudi Arabia. Diabetic retinopathy was found to have more contribution in Saudi Arabia due the higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus in this country.

Conclusion: Epidemiological surveys about the prevalence and causes of VI are crucial for the formulation of preventive and curative measures. Data about VI are still scarce with a need to make wider population based surveys, worldwide and in Saudi Arabia for in-depth evaluation of the problem and better strategies to reduce the burden of VI.

Abbreviations:ARMD: Age Related Macular Degeneration. DR: Diabetic Retinopathy. RE: Refractive Error. ROP: Retinopathy of Prematurity. RP: Retinitis Pigmentosa. VI: Visual Impairment.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.343.14510

How to cite this:Alswailmi FK. Global prevalence and causes of visual impairment with special reference to the general population of Saudi Arabia. Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(3):751-756.   doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.343.14510

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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