Refractive Error Blindness in Older Africans

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The Tema Eye Study provides valuable information on blindness and visual impairment in Ghana. Budenz et al estimated that the prevalences of visual impairment and blindness (based on presenting visual acuity [VA] measurements) were 17.1% and 1.2%, respectively in the population aged ≥40 years. After refractive correction, these estimates decreased to 6.7% and 0.75%, respectively, with the authors suggesting that “refractive error is the major correctable cause of visual impairment and blindness in this population.” This inference may be misleading and lead to undercorrection of many other correctable causes of visual impairment in sub-Saharan Africa. (Source: Ophthalmology)