Nicole Carnt


PURPOSE. To determine the comfort and cosmetic appeal of low cost spectacles in Eritrea, a developing country that does not have a self-sustaining eyecare system.

METHOD. Subjects were selected from those presenting for an eye examination at the Mai-Temany Hospital, Asmara, Eritrea. Low cost spectacles were dispensed to subjects whose spectacle prescriptions met the following criteria:
-spherical equivalent >= +/- 1.00DS <= +/- 6.00DS
-cylindrical component <= -1.50DC in the worse eye
-anisometropia < 0.75DS
Subjects were invited to participate in a survey where they were asked to rate the comfort (1-4, where 1=not comfortable at all, 4=very comfortable) and cosmetic appeal (1=not attractive at all, 4=very attractive) immediately after the spectacles were dispensed. The spectacles were adjusted if required. The type of adjustments were noted and pre- and post-adjustment comfort was compared.

RESULTS. Of the 48 subjects aged between 14 and 58 years (average 36 +/- 13) that participated in the survey, 81% rated comfort at least Grade 3, and 96% rated attractiveness Grade 3 or 4. Of the 26% of the spectacles that required adjustment, 58% required reduction of pressure on the temple, 58% adjustment of temple length, and 33% required nosepad repositioning. After adjustments were made, all subjects rated comfort Grade 3 or 4.

CONCLUSIONS. Low cost spectacles are comfortable and cosmetically appealing to the people of Eritrea, who do not at this stage have access to a self sustaining eyecare system.


Year: 2001

Program Number: 2:40 pm

Author Affiliation: CRC for Eye Research & Technology, Uni of NSW

Co-Authors: Janine McKenzie, Aster Abraham, Jacqueline Ramke, Fiona Dimond, Brien Holden

Co-Author Affiliation: Mai-Temany Hospital, Mai-Temany Hospital, CRC for Eye Research & Technology, Uni of NSW, ICEE - International Centre for Eyecare Education, CRC for Eye Research & Technology

Room: Room 108