|Title||VISUAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE STUDENTS AT THE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND IN RIYADH|
|Author, Co-Author||Mosaad Alabdulmunem|
|Abstract|| ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To determine the visual characteristics and differentiate the low vision students from those who are legally blind at the school for the blind in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Early correction of refractive errors is essential for schoolchildren in order to prevent the development of amblyopia that may lead to visual impairment. The WHO defines low vision as: visual acuity less than 6/18 and equal to or better than 3/60 in the better eye with best correction.
METHODS: One hundred twenty five male students, with an age range of 6-20 years, participated in the study. Some data were collected from student's charts. Detailed case history was taken for each student. Visual acuity testing (corrected and uncorrected) was taken for distance and near. Dry and wet refractions were performed for all students. Low vision devices, used by some students, were evaluated.
RESULTS: The mean age of all students was 15 years. Of the 125 students, 30 (24%) have no light perception (NLP) in both eyes and 13 (10.4%) have 20/200 or better in both eyes. 12 (9.6%) and 71 (56.8%) students have visual acuity of 2/300 and less than 20/400 in both eyes respectively. Refraction results showed 2 (1.6%) students with correctable myopia with a visual acuity of 20/40 after correction and 5 (4%) students with correctable hyperopia with a visual acuity between 20/40 and 20/60 after correction. 106 students (84.8%) were not using any kind of low vision devices and 19 students (15.2%) were wearing spectacle corrections. All students are using Braille system for reading and writing. CONCLUSION: Majority of students were legally blind according to the WHO definition. Some children with low vision can be integrated into regular schools rather than having to be taught in special schools for the blind. Eye examinations for preschool are mandatory for the prevention and cure of blinding disorders. Public education programs should include information for the prevention of trauma and genetic counseling especially for consanguineous marriages.
|Affiliation of Co-Authors|