Authors
Khalid F Tabbara, Hisham F El-Sheikh, Shucri S Shawaf

Pattern of childhood blindness at a referral center in Saudi Arabia

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Abstract/Introduction

Background: An understanding of the causes of blindness and the magnitude of the problem is crucial in designing effective intervention and prevention programs. We undertook this retrospective review to determine the causes of childhood blindness at an eye referral center.

Patients and methods: We reviewed charts of children who presented between August 1997 and August 2003. All children had a complete ophthalmologic examination. Blindness was defined as a visual acuity < 20/400, visual impairment as visual acuity between 20/400 and 20/60, and visual loss as a visual acuity < 20/60.


Conclusion/Results

Results: A total of 5217 children included 220 (59%) males and 152 (41%) females (age range 2 to 18 years, mean age, 10 years). One hundred twelve (2%) were blind and 260 (5%) had visual impairment. The most common causes of bilateral blindness included optic nerve diseases, retinal disorders, and cataract. The most common causes of unilateral blindness included trauma, retinal diseases, refractive errors, and optic nerve diseases. The most common causes of bilateral visual impairment included refractive errors, corneal diseases, retinal disorders, cataract, and congenital nystagmus. Genetically determined disorders were observed in 37 (70%) of 53 patients with bilateral blindness, and in 52 (56%) of 93 patients with bilateral visual impairment. The incidence of consanguinity among parents of children with acquired causes was 2 (3%) of 59 patients compared to 34 (38%) of 89 among genetically determined causes (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Genetically determined disorders continue to play an important role in the causation of childhood blindness among patients attending our referral center in Saudi Arabia. Genetic counseling, early eye screening of children and public education may help in the prevention of visual disorders in children.


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Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.


Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.


Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!


Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!


Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!


Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!


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