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Publication | Visual Diability
Uses of visual disability at the Al -Noor institute for the visually impaired in Bahrain.

Ebtisam Al -Alawi ,FRCS ,MRCOphth, DO: Ahmed Abdulla Ahmed ,MD,MPH and Bahaa Fataha , MD,Dphil.

To determine the etiology, clinical diagnosis prognosis and to identify the major treatable and preventable causes of visual disability among attendees at the Al -Noor institute for the visually impaired ,Bahrain.

Using the standardized methodology of the world Health Organization, a detailed study was conducted of 124 visually disabled subjects , mainly children . At the Al -Noor institute for the visually impaired. The patients were examined clinically during 1994 and 1995. There were 70 Bahrainis and 54non - Bahrainis: 81 were male and 43 female.

The main causes of visual disability were due to hereditary diseases (42%). The main cause was retinal dystrophy, while glaucoma cataract, intrauterine infections and retinopathy of prematurity were the other main causes. Data analysis revealed that 46.8% had parents who were closely related. Moreover, the consanguinity was 63.2% in those subjects with a positive family history of visual disability among closely related family members. On the other hand, subjects who had a negative or unknown family history revealed consanguinity among parents in 32.9% of cases.

The main cause of blindness is hereditary disease Consanguinity represents an important factor in visual disability among children.

Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology, Volume, 12,,Number 2, April-June 1998

Ebtisam Al Alawi MD, Ahmed Ahmed, Bahaa Fatiha, Salmaniya Medical Complex, Manama , Bahrain.

To establish the baseline profile of visual disability among randomly selected samples of Bahraini population . To identify the causes of visual disabilities.

Cross sectional survey of a randomly selected sample of Bahraini population. Using WHO standard methodology to record the findings . Eye examination included an initial screening of the subjects, then full ophthalmological examination for cases with visual impairment or visual disability .

A representative sample was selected and 2426 was included in the study . The survey revealed that 3/60 was 4% and found that refractive errors constitute % of the cases . Cataract 8.7% glaucoma 4.1% . macular degeneration 2.6% and diabetic retinopathy 2.0% . On the otherhand, bilateral blindness (Visual acuity less than 3/60 was 1.9% Cataract and glaucoma constitute the major causes of blindness (21.3% and 9.6% respectively , followed by control opacity 6.4% refractive errors 4.3% and diabetic retinopathy was 2.0% .

The overall visual disability was 12.7% .The bilateral blindness was 2.0% and bilateral low vision was 4.0% .The major causes of visual disability was identified. Refractive errors constitute the main cause of impairment and cataract the major cause of disability.

A total of 228-procedure ware needed for action. Recommendation to identify and treat visual disabilities will be discussed. This study was done in collaboration with IMPACT.
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