Awareness of Presbyopia among Rural Female Population in North Karnataka NC01-NC05
Dr Charushila V Gajapati,
Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Medical Sciences and
Hospital, Sattur, Dharwad, Karnataka-580009, India.
Introduction: Presbyopia is an age related loss of lens accommodation resulting in inability to read and/write or to do near work. Though literacy level may be low in rural female population of South India, but household works like sewing, sorting grains and operating mobile phones must be difficult due to presbyopia.
Aim: To determine the awareness of presbyopia in rural females; also, to determine the knowledge levels regarding presbyopia, spectacle coverage and reasons for not wearing spectacles.
Materials and Methods: A hospital based cross-sectional study was conducted at SDM College of Medical Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India, on 1000 female subjects of age group 35 years and above coming from rural area (around Dharwad). They were examined and open-ended questionnaire was used to record subject’s awareness and knowledge about presbyopia and their responses were analysed.
Results: More than 2/3rd of 1000 (66.7%) subjects were not aware about presbyopia. More than 50% subjects had difficulty in cleaning grains, threading needles and reading fine newspaper print. About 86.5% thought presbyopia is age related and 92.2% thought it could be treated with spectacles. In spite of high prevalence, almost 98% of the population were not willing to wear glasses among which majority (60.2%) felt that spectacles were difficult to be maintained while working. In the present study, no statistical significance between literacy and awareness was noted (p=0.46).
Conclusion: High prevalence of presbyopia was seen with majority of them uncorrected due to lack of awareness or unwillingness to wear glasses. We need to provide better health education regarding presbyopia among both literate and illiterate individuals. Thus, there is a need to create awareness and to provide affordable, accessible and compatible optical services to the affected population.