Medical hypothesis, discovery & innovation in optometry,
Vol. 3 No. 4 (2022),
14 January 2023
Background: Low vision is a major public health concern. This study was aimed at describing the characteristics of patients attending a low vision rehabilitation clinic.
Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed the medical records of patients with low vision attending a low vision rehabilitation clinic at a tertiary referral center over 7 years. We extracted the following data from each record: age, sex, education level, employment status, chief complaints with respect to vision, associated ocular diseases, status of previously prescribed optical devices, uncorrected distance and near visual acuities, best-corrected distance and near visual acuities, the status of prescribed optical devices, and cooperation status of patients during optometric examination.
Results: Finally, 567 patients were included with a mean (standard deviation) age of 40.46 (28.34) years and a male-to-female ratio of 338 (59.6%) to 229 (40.4%). The majority of participants were cooperative (98.4) with a high rate of unemployment (90.5%) and low education level. Half of the patients had moderate vision impairment (49.2%). Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) was the commonest cause (21.3%). Reading was the most frequent complaint (22.9%) and combination of three complaints (reading, writing, and facial recognition) were recorded in 54.7% of patients. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the likelihood of difficulties in in-house-activities, reading, facial recognition and social activities, and driving increased with age (odds ratios of 1.39, 1.31, 1.24, and 1.22 per 10-year increment in age) (all P < 0.05). The likelihood of expressing three complaints (reading, writing, and facial recognition together) increased with visual acuity. Besides, men were more likely to have difficulties in driving and reading, while women were more likely to have difficulties in facial recognition and social activities or in-house activities (all P < 0.05). Optical devices for distance or near were prescribed for most patients.
Conclusions: Most patients were men and unemployed. The most common category and cause of low vision were moderate vision impairment and ARMD, respectively. Reading, writing, and facial recognition was the most common complaints. Optometrists should address these findings during rehabilitation therapy in patients with low vision.