BLINDNESS AMONG ADULT JORDANIANS
To assess the causes of blindness among adults aged 20 years and over who attended two big general ophthalmic clinics in Jordan.
PATIENTS & METHODS
This hospital - based study was undertaken at Jordan University Hospital in Amman and Princess Basma Teaching Hospital which is affiliated with Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid (third largest city in Jordan).
A total of 2732 patients seen consecutively over a period of 26 months were examined and the ophthalmic findings were recorded.
Using standard Snellen charts, subjects were placed in one of three categories according to their best corrected visual acuity:
1) unilateral blindness: less than 6/60 in worse eye, 6/60 or more in better eye.
(2) moderate bilateral blindness: less than 6/60 in worse eye, less than 6/60 to 3/60 or more in better eye.
(3) severe bilateral blindness: less than 3/60 in both eyes.
Of the total patients seen, 373 were blind according to the selection criteria.
There were 248 patients with unilateral blindness; diabetic retinopathy, cataract and trauma were the leading causes of blindness in this group.
Among the 81 patients with moderate bilateral blindness, diabetic retinopathy and cataract were the leading causes .
Diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma were the leading causes in patients with severe bilateral blindness.
This hospital – based study found that diabetic retinopathy and cataract were the leading causes of unilateral and bilateral blindness; trauma was the third leading cause of unilateral blindness.
A national survey on the prevalence and causes of blindness in Jordan is strongly needed.
Meanwhile; diabetes mellitus , cataract and trauma are targets on which to focus attempts to reduce blindness.