Uncorrected refractive errors

Indian J Ophthalmol. Sep-Oct 2012;60(5):432-7. doi: 10.4103/0301-4738.100543.

Abstract

Global estimates indicate that more than 2.3 billion people in the world suffer from poor vision due to refractive error; of which 670 million people are considered visually impaired because they do not have access to corrective treatment. Refractive errors, if uncorrected, results in an impaired quality of life for millions of people worldwide, irrespective of their age, sex and ethnicity. Over the past decade, a series of studies using a survey methodology, referred to as Refractive Error Study in Children (RESC), were performed in populations with different ethnic origins and cultural settings. These studies confirmed that the prevalence of uncorrected refractive errors is considerably high for children in low-and-middle-income countries. Furthermore, uncorrected refractive error has been noted to have extensive social and economic impacts, such as limiting educational and employment opportunities of economically active persons, healthy individuals and communities. The key public health challenges presented by uncorrected refractive errors, the leading cause of vision impairment across the world, require urgent attention. To address these issues, it is critical to focus on the development of human resources and sustainable methods of service delivery. This paper discusses three core pillars to addressing the challenges posed by uncorrected refractive errors: Human Resource (HR) Development, Service Development and Social Entrepreneurship.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health*
  • Refraction, Ocular
  • Refractive Errors / complications
  • Refractive Errors / epidemiology*
  • Vision, Low / epidemiology
  • Vision, Low / etiology*