AIM: To determine the pattern of refractive errors in elderly patients attending Guinness Eye Centre, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH): 10 year Review.
METHODS: A descriptive retrospective study, were case records of subjects over 60 years of age who had refraction done over that period were studied. Demographic data: age, gender, presenting visual acuity, intra ocular pressure, objective and subjective refraction were retrieved. Myopia was defined as a Spherical Equivalence (SE) >-0.50DS. Hyperopia SE of > +0.50DS. Astigmatism was analyzed in minus cylinders and defined as cylinder >-0.50DC. Patients with corneal opacity, advanced pterygium, dense cataract, pseudophakia or aphakia were excluded. Statistical analysis done with Statistical package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19.0 (SPSS Chicago Il). Categorical variables tested with chi square. p value of <0.05 statistically significant.
RESULTS: Three hundred and four eyes of 153 patients (38.25%) met the inclusion criteria. Mean age 66.01 ± 5.09 years (60 – 83 years). Male: Female 1:2.4. A total number of 204 (67.1%) presented with a visual acuity of >6/18, 82 (27%) 6/12-6/36 and 18 (5.9%) had <6/60. Hypermetropia was found in 158 (19%), myopia in 15 (5%), and astigmatism 231 (76%) ranging from -1DC to -7DC. Astigmatism was the predominant refractive error while against-the-rule astigmatism was the most prevalent form. All had presbyopia. Refraction improved the proportion of patients with visual acuity > 6/18 from 67% to 99%.
CONCLUSION: Uncorrected refractive errors is a leading cause of visual impairment in the elderly. Astigmatism has been found to be prevalent. Correcting refractive errors will improve the quality of life in the elderly.