Purpose: In 1992-94 a nation-wide survey in primary schools in the Sultanate of Oman for ocular disorders was conducted. This report focuses on the prevalence of visual acuity loss after injury. Methods and material: A random selection of 6292 children from Grades 1 and 6 from all primary schools in the country provided the research sample. Children who failed the visual acuity screening test received a complete 'on the spot' eye examination by the pediatric ophthalmologist. Results: 12 children were found to have monocular low vision (VA < 0.3 to amaurosis) caused by injury. Total prevalence for loss of vision in one eye was 0.19%, with 0.15% in 6-year-olds and 0.25% in 12-year-olds. Traumatic cataracts were noted in 4 children, 3 of these were in need of surgery. One child had aphakia after trauma surgery and needed a secondary lens implant. Conclusion: Altogether the prevalence of traumatic monocular visual damage in our study was 0.19%. Next to amblyopia, injury is the main reason for monocular loss of vision in childhood, however both are preventable. Information about trauma prevention and the need for adequate ophthalmic care should be emphasized. Regular and repeated screening of visual acuity in children is essential.
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