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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18

Demand of ophthalmic services in a rural district of Costa Rica


1 Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital Calderón Guardia, Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social, San José; Department of Ophthalmology, Clinica Acon, Cañas; Asociados de Macula, Vitreo y Retina de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Sanatorio del Salvador, Córdoba, Argentina
3 Asociados de Macula, Vitreo y Retina de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lihteh Wu
Asociados de Macula, Vitreo y Retina de Costa Rica, Primer Piso Torre Mercedes Paseo Colon, San José

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/pajo.pajo_85_21

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Purpose: To report the demand of ophthalmic services and the prevalence of the main ophthalmic pathologies in a rural population of Costa Rica. Study Design: A cross-sectional study of all individuals seen at the ophthalmology outpatient clinic during March 2016 to February 2017. Methods: All cases presenting to the ophthalmology outpatient clinic during March 2016 to February 2017 were reviewed (n = 895 patients, 1790 eyes). Visual acuity was measured using the Snellen chart. Results: The most common reasons for consultation were decreased visual acuity in 37.7% (326/865), foreign-body sensation 20.2% (175/865), glaucoma control 5.9% (51/865), screening or follow-up of diabetes mellitus (DM) 5.8% (50/865), and blunt trauma in 5% (43/865) of patients. A total of 252 (14.1%) eyes presented with a best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) ≤20/200; 357 (19.9%) eyes had a BCVA <20/40 and >20/200; and 1181 (65.9%) had a BCVA ≥20/40. There were 40 (4.5%) patients that had a BCVA ≤20/200 bilaterally. The most common ophthalmic findings included cataract in 552 (30.8%) eyes, pterygium in 296 (16.5%) eyes, primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) in 187 (10.4%) eyes, age-related macular degeneration in 168 (9.4%) eyes, and 131 (7.3%) eyes with diabetic retinopathy (DR). Conclusions: The most common cause of ophthalmic consultation was decreased vision, of which 14% had a BCVA ≤20/200. The common findings included cataract, pterygia, POAG, age-related macular degeneration, and DR. Seventy-five percent of bilateral visual loss is avoidable.


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