Ophthalmologic abnormalities among deaf students in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria
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BACKGROUND: The association between deafness and ocular problems is well established; however the nature and prevalence of these problems are diverse across the globe. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to determine the nature and prevalence of ophthalmologic abnormalities in deaf students and offer treatment to those with remediable conditions. METHOD: Six hundred and twenty deaf students aged between 5 and 38 years were examined in a school for the deaf. RESULTS: One hundred and thirty (20.9%) had some form of ophthalmologic abnormality. Some had anterior segment abnormalities such as corneal opacities (0.5%) and allergic conjunctivitis (3.4%) while others had posterior segment abnormalities like optic atrophy (0.3%), Waardenburg syndrome (0.6%) and Ushers syndrome (0.6%). Refractive error was the most common (7.9%). CONCLUSION: Since these deaf students use their sight to compensate for the deafness, routine ophthalmologic examination should be carried out on them so that ophthalmologic abnormalities are detected early and treatment offered for remediable diseases.
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