Aim: To study the prevalence of refractive errors and amblyopia in school children of kindergarten to tenth class.
Materials and Methods: Prospective observational study conducted in a single school in south India.
970 students from LKG to class 10 underwent evaluation by 3 ophthalmologists and 2 optometrists on 12 consecutive days. All students of kindergarten underwent atropine refraction and those with suboptimal vision from Class I-X underwent best glass correction and refraction with homatropine. Fundus photograph was taken in all the students using a portable non mydriatic fundus camera to detect any fundus abnormality. Significant refractive errors requiring correction and amblyopia requiring management were defined as per American Academy of Ophthalmology guidelines.
Results: Out of 970 students screened, 160 were in kindergarten. Of the 970 students 19.1% had refractive error, of whom 56.7% were unaware of their ocular condition (p=0.0001 statistically significant). Out of the 19.1%, Out of the 19.1%, 46(24.8%) were myopes, 4 (2.1%) hypermetropes and 135 (73.5%) had astigmatism. 91.8 % had binocular refractive error and one child (0.5%) had amblyopia. 18 (11.25%) of the 160 KG students had refractive error.
Conclusion: 56.7% of the students were unaware of their refractive error which would have gone undetected if the screening was not done. In addition methodical evaluation of KG students is of great importance in identifying refractive errors and prevention of amblyopia in preschool children.
Amblyopia detection, Atropine refraction, Refractive errors, School eye screening.