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Prevalence, Awareness and Factors Associated with Glaucoma in a Rural Community of Ekiti State, South West Nigeria

DOI: 10.4236/ojoph.2019.91003, PP. 18-27

Keywords: Glaucoma, Blindness, Neuropathy

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Abstract:

Background: Glaucoma, a group of diseases that have optic neuropathy as a common end point, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, accounting for 4.5 million blindness, which is about 12% of global blindness. This study aimed to assess the prevalence, awareness and risk factors associated with glaucoma in a rural community of Ekiti State. Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study conducted during a health outreach. All adults present during the outreach were enrolled into the study and screened for glaucoma and a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. The validity of the questionnaire was tested at Ijero-Ekiti community before being used for this research. Data obtained was analysed using SPSS version 20 and p-value was predetermined at ≤ 0.05. Results: Majority of respondents were aged 60 years and above with a mean age of 55 ± 11.7. Majority (73%) were females and 41% had secondary education. Prevalence of glaucoma was 10.7%; 36% of respondents had heard about glaucoma; and 43.2% of those that had heard were not aware that it can lead to blindness. Increasing age, level of education, procurement of glasses from friends/relatives/roadside, using eyes drop not prescribed, history of previous eyes injury and family history of glaucoma were factors identified as having significant relationship with glaucoma. Conclusion: Glaucoma is prevalent in the community (10.7%). However, level of awareness about the disease (36%) was low. Factors, such as age, level of education, procurement of glasses from quacks, use of eye drops not prescribed, previous injury to the eyes and family history of glaucoma, were shown to have significant relationship with glaucoma. There is need to increase community awareness on glaucoma as a major cause of blindness and the risk factors associated with it. Community screening for people above 40 years for glaucoma is also recommended.

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