Pattern of eye diseases among welders in a Nigeria community

Afr Health Sci. 2012 Jun;12(2):210-6. doi: 10.4314/ahs.v12i2.21.

Abstract

Background: Welders have been identified as a high risk group for eye disorders due to their exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Objective: To determine the prevalence and types of eye diseases amongst welders in Ile-Ife, Osun state.

Methods: This is a cross sectional descriptive study of 405 consenting welders. Information on socio-demographic characteristics was obtained using a pre-tested proforma and all subjects had visual actuity test, anterior and posterior segments examination, test of stereopsis and macular function.

Results: Two hundred and seventy five (67.9%) of the respondents were arc welders, 99(22.5%) were gas welders while 39(9.6%) utilized both welding techniques. The age of the respondents ranged from 16 years to 80 years with a mean of 38 ± 13 years. Conjunctival degenerative disorders like pingueculum (50.1%) and pterygium(17.5%) constituted the commonest eye disorders among the welders. There were 6 blind eyes of 5 welders with pigmentary maculopathy accounting for the single case of bilateral blindness. There is a greater odd in developing pingueculum and Pterygium (OR=1.015, 1.039 respectively) in arc welders than in gas welders.

Conclusion: Pingueculum, Pterygium, corneal opacity, and pigmentary macular deposits were the common eye disorders among welders.

Keywords: Nigeria; eye disorders; welders.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eye Diseases / epidemiology
  • Eye Diseases / etiology*
  • Eye Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Occupational Health
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Welding*
  • Young Adult