Prevalence of Refractive Errors among Students of Faculty of Medicine, Herat University, Afghanistan

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Sayed Farooq Hosaini, Abdul Subhan Seddiqi, Mohammad Naser Nabizada, Khairullah Karimi


One of the major health problems in the world, especially in developing countries, is impaired vision in different age groups. According to the World Health Organization, about 253 million people worldwide suffer from visual impairment, including 217 million people with moderate to severe visual impairment. Uncorrected refractive error is the major cause of visual impairment (53%) and the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. About a quarter of the world's literate and educated population have a refractive error.

To determine the prevalence of visual impairment among medical students of Herat University.

This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out from September 6, 2019 until October 5, 2019 among medical students of the Herat University. After conducting optometric examinations and determining visual acuity among students, an interview-based pre-defined questionnaire was completed for each student.

In this study, 497 students participated, 226 students (45.5%) had refractive error, including 101 cases (20.5%) with myopia, twenty-onecases (4.2%) with hyperopia, and 100 cases (20.1%) with astigmatism. In addition, three students (0.6%) had both myopia and astigmatism.

The prevalence of myopia and astigmatism is high among medical students of the Herat University. Regular visual check-up is necessary to correct the refractive errors and to prevent the progression of visual impairment.

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