Vision problems, eye care history, and ocular protection among migrant farmworkers

Arch Environ Occup Health. Spring 2008;63(1):13-6. doi: 10.3200/AEOH.63.1.13-16.


In this article, the authors describe the self-reported eye conditions, eyecare history, and eye safety practices of migrant farmworkers in eastern North Carolina. The authors administered interviews to 79 farmworkers recruited at migrant clinics. Data collected included eye-related complaints and diagnoses, self-assessed visual acuity, eye symptoms, use of protective gear during work, and attitudes toward eye protection gear. Fair or poor eyesight was reported by 21.3%. Only 4 (5.1%) reported wearing glasses or contact lenses. More than 11% reported difficulty in recognizing a friend across the street, and 19.5% reported difficulty in reading. About 20% reported each of several eye symptoms. Fewer than 1 in 10 wore eye protection at work. Of all, 38% reported never having visited any eyecare professional. Farmworkers have a high level of unmet need for both routine preventive eye care and treatment or correction of vision problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agriculture*
  • Eye Protective Devices*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Health
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • Vision Disorders / epidemiology*