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ABSTRACT

Purpose: To assess the cumulative prevalence of ocular trauma and presence of vision loss due to ocular trauma in an urban population in southern India.

Methods: As part of the population-based Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study, 2522 people of all ages from 24 clusters representative of the population of Hyderabad city in southern India, underwent a detailed interview and standardized dilated ocular evaluation. An eye was considered to be blind due to trauma if best corrected distance visual acuity was worse than 6/60 due to trauma.

Results: One hundred and thirteen subjects gave a history of ocular trauma and another two had evidence of ocular trauma by examination, a combined age–sex-adjusted rate of 3.97% (95% CI 2.52–5.42%). Blindness in one eye due to trauma was present in 17 subjects, and in both eyes in one subject, a combined age–sex-adjusted prevalence of 0.60% (95% CI 0.23–1.04%). Visual acuity in all the blind eyes except one was worse than 3/60. With multiple logistic regression, the odds of blindness in at least one eye due to trauma were highest for current age range of 30–39 years (odds ratio 6.33, 95% CI 1.69–23.77 compared with a current age of less than 30 years), were significantly higher for lower socioeconomic status (3.74, 95% CI 1.18–11.84), and were higher for males (2.48, 95% CI 0.91–6.82) though this did not reach statistical significance. Trauma resulting in blindness had occurred by the age of 15 years in 55% of subjects, and before the age of 40 years in 92.1% of subjects; this had occurred most commonly while playing (53.6% of the cases). With multiple logistic regression, the odds ratios for any ocular trauma were significantly higher for males (2.10, 95% CI 1.40–3.15), and for labourers than for other occupations (2.50, 95% CI 1.62–3.86).

Conclusions: Ocular trauma affects one in 25 people in this urban population in India, and one in 167 people in this population are estimated to be blind in at least one eye due to trauma. The majority of the trauma resulting in blindness occurs during childhood and young adulthood, and slightly more than half occurs while playing. Targeting mothers and children of lower socioeconomic strata in eye health awareness strategies to reduce blindness due to trauma needs to be considered in urban India.

Key words: blindness, India, population-based, trauma, urban.