Introduction WHO introduced the global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness by the year 2020 known as “Vision 2020”. Refractive errors, is one of the priority areas for vision 2020 as they are so common and because corrective spectacles provide a remedy that is cheap, effective and associated with huge functional improvement.
Aims and Objectives To estimate the prevalence of refractive errors and colour blindness among 5–15 years school going children in Shimla.
Materials and Methods Cross sectional study carried out in the in urban and rural schools of Shimla. In a total of 2000 school children aged 5–15 years visual acuity was tested using ETDRS chart for refractive error and Ichihara colour plates for colour vision. Trained school teachers assessed visual acuity and colour vision. Students found having visual impairment by trained school teachers were further examined by refractionist.
Results Among the 2000 study subjects 956 (48%) were males and 1044 (52%) were females. The mean age of the study participants was 12.59 years+2.25. 4.2% were found to be having refractive error. Myopia was found to be the most prevalent type of RE followed by hypermetropia and finally astigmatism. There was no association between RE with gender. The prevalence of colour blindness was 0.3%.
Conclusion Because visual impairment can have a significant impact on a child's life in terms of education and development, it is important that effective strategies be developed to eliminate this easily treated cause of visual impairment.
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