By Jengwia Johnson Lucha, student of the Master in Clinical Optometry and Vision Therapy


Uncorrected refractive error is a major cause of visual impairment in patients worldwide and even amongst patients in the North West Region of Cameroon. According to Serge et al (2008), there are 314 million people around the world who suffer from visual impairment due to any ocular disease or uncorrected refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism) and uncorrected refractive errors can interfere with performance at school, reduce chances of employment and productivity, and generally affects quality of life. According to this researcher, the correction of refractive errors with appropriate spectacles is among the most cost-effective interventions in eye health care. While cataract is the leading cause of visual impairment, uncorrected refractive error is the second leading cause, representing 18% and the leading cause of low vision. Other causes include glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, trachoma, infection, onchocerciasis etc. The distribution of blindness does not follow a homogeneous pattern in the world, as 87% of world’s visually impaired live in the developing nations of the world.

The prevalence and pattern of refractive errors vary between industrialized nations and even among poor areas of Africa and Asia. Unfortunately, there has been no such study in the North West Region of Cameroon.

The correction of refractive errors involves the use of conventional eyeglasses, contact lens and refractive surgery. Daily functions like driving can be challenging with significant uncorrected refractive errors. Uncorrected refractive errors can seriously affect children performance at school and adversely influence intellectual development.

Download the full Research Work: Jengwia Johnson Lucha (2023). Prevalence of Refractive Errors in Bamenda, Cameroon. SAERA


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