Refractive Errors among Urban Poor Population in Shah Alam, Selangor:
The Prevention of Blindness Project
Keywords:Refractive errors, Vision problems, Myopia, Prevention of blindness, Urban poor
International Association of Prevention Blindness (IAPB) reported 1.1 billion people worldwide live with vision loss. Ninety percent of vision loss is treatable or preventable. Management and Science University (MSU) prevention of blindness project (POB) is an outreach community project providing eye care accessibility to underserved communities. This paper aimed to report the prevalence of refractive errors among the urban poor population in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. A total of 433 participants were involved in a cross-sectional study. Spherical equivalent (SE) of 0.50 D in the worse eye is considered refractive errors, which SE of >-0.50 D is myopia, and SE of >050 D as hyperopia. Low myopia was defined as SE less than -3.00 D; moderate myopia is defined as SE between -3.00 to -5.99 D, and high myopia is defined as SE -6.00 D and above. Astigmatism is considered as cylindrical refraction greater than 0.50D in either eye. Anisometropia is defined as differences SE of 1D of equal with or greater between two eyes Myopia in one eye and hyperopia in the fellow eye SE difference than 0.50D is considered antimetropia. Presbyopia is defined as near vision worse than N6 at 40cm when best-corrected distance visual acuity was better than 6/12. Out of 433 participants were recruited, 242 (55.68%) were male, and 191 (44.32%) were female and a mean age of 55.97(SD = 10.55). For types of refractive errors, 28.41% participants were presbyopia, 28.18% were myopia, 14.78% were hyperopia, 24.94% were emmetropia, 3.70% were antimetropia, and 54.04% were astigmatism. Most of the reported myopia cases have low myopia (79.51%), followed by moderate myopia (13.12%) and high myopia (7.38%). Approximately 75.06% of the population studied were affected by refractive errors and significantly associated with age. This study suggests a need for interventions to allevaiate refractive errors in urban poor areas and other communities affected by providing access and affordable eye care services.