June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Prevalence of Refractive Error and Need for Corrective Lenses in a Medically Underserved Population in Tijuana, Mexico
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jonathan M Ismond
    Biology Department, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
  • Micah A. Timmermans
    Biochemistry Department, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
    Public Health Program, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
  • John L Ubels
    Biology Department, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
  • Arlene J. Hoogewerf
    Biology Department, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
    Public Health Program, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Jonathan Ismond, None; Micah Timmermans, None; John Ubels, None; Arlene Hoogewerf, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  West Michigan Optometric and Wagner Memorial Scholarships
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 2370. doi:
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      Jonathan M Ismond, Micah A. Timmermans, John L Ubels, Arlene J. Hoogewerf; Prevalence of Refractive Error and Need for Corrective Lenses in a Medically Underserved Population in Tijuana, Mexico
      . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2370.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : The population of Tijuana, Mexico grew 3 fold from 1980-2010, with a current population estimate of 1.6 million. This growth is fueled by the migration of nearly 80,000 people to Tijuana each year, resulting in the rise of neighborhoods with substandard housing, lack of services and inadequate access to health care, including eye care. This study describes refractive errors and the need for corrective lenses in a population attending free clinics in these neighborhoods where they received eye exams and glasses during January 2016.

Methods : This is a retrospective observational chart review of de-identified data collected from intake forms that were filled out for each patient at the clinics. The study was approved by the Calvin College IRB. Subjects were self-selected in response to announcements in the neighborhoods where clinics were conducted. Subjects with visual acuity worse than 20/30 OU were examined with an autorefractor to determine refractive error and appropriate prescription for lenses. Either prescription or reading glasses were then distributed to subjects who had refractive errors. Epi Info, an open source program provided by the CDC, was used to analyze demographic, visual acuity and refractive error data.

Results : Visual acuity was evaluated in 1209 people. Of these patients, 849 (70.2%) had a visual acuity of 20/30 or worse. Only 272 (22.5%) of these patients had glasses. Among the patients who were given refractions, 156 (12.9%) were identified as having clinically significant myopia (≤ -0.75 D in at least one eye). In adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19, 10.2% had clinically significant myopia. A total of 300 (24.8%) patients had clinically significant hyperopia (≥0.75 D in at least one eye). Among adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19, 22.8% had clinically significant hyperopia. A total of 221 (18.3%) individuals had astigmatism (≤-1.5 D in at least one eye). Prescription lenses were given to 509 patients. Reading glasses were given to 386 patients.

Conclusions : The high levels of uncorrected refractive error in this study suggest limited access to affordable eye care in this population. Prevalence of myopia is increasing in many regions, however, a relatively high prevalence of hyperopia was observed in this group. The data demonstrate an urgent need for eye care in the study population.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.

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