BACKGROUND: Causes of low vision and types of low vision devices (LVDs) prescribed in other low vision clinics have been studied extensively. Similar studies have not been conducted in Malaysia. This paper reports the results of a retrospective study of 573 patients seen at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia-Malaysian Association for the Blind (UKM-MAB) low vision clinic in Kuala Lumpur.
METHODS: The record cards of 573 patients seen at the UKM-MAB clinic over 10 years were examined and the following information extracted: date of first consultation, age, sex, cause of visual impairment as diagnosed by an ophthalmologist and types of low vision devices (LVDs) prescribed.
RESULTS: The majority of patients were from the younger age groups with 423 (73.8 per cent) less than 50 years of age. Three hundred and ninety-five (68.9 per cent) of the subjects were males and 178 (31.1 per cent) female. The main causes of low vision were congenital structural defects including nystagmus among patients in the zero to 29 years age group, retinitis pigmentosa among the 30 to 59 years age group and age-related macular degeneration (ARM) among those over 60 years of age.
CONCLUSIONS: Since the majority of the patients were from the younger age group the main causes of low vision were congenital and hereditary diseases. Three hundred and forty-one (59.5 per cent) patients seen at the low vision clinic accepted the use of LVDs.
Study site: UKM-MAB (Malaysian Association for the Blind) low vision clinic, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.