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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-38

Bilateral blindness from ocular injury: A 15 year review


1 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
2 Federal Medical Center, PMB 1126, Birnin Kebbi, Nigeria
3 Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
K F Monsudi
Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Center, PMB 1126, Birnin Kebbi
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1597-1112.139467

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Background: Ocular injury remains a significant cause of monocular visual impairment and blindness worldwide; impact on bilateral blindness needs further elucidation. Aims: The aim of this study is to review cases of bilateral blindness from ocular injury: The etiology, risk factors, psychosocial effect as well as suggest preventive measures. Materials and Methods: A 15 year retrospective review of bilateral blindness from ocular injury at the eye clinic of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) From January 1997 through December 2012 was carried out. Results: Sixteen cases of traumatic bilateral blindness were recorded, compared to 2155 total number of bilateral blindness recorded during the study period, giving a proportion of 0.8%. This consisting of 12 males and 6 females. The modal age group was 17-33 years. Blindness resulting from chemical assault was (37.5%), gunshot injury (12.5%), and assault for presumed ritual purposes made up 25%. The major risk factors identified are male sex, younger age group, students, and artisan. Psychosocial burden in the immediate period of loss of vision include anxiety, fear of loss of occupation or basic skills, denial and hope for visual restoration, aggression, poor appetite, and excessive crying. Three patients developed depression and required medical management. Conclusion: Bilateral blindness in our environment is mainly assault-related from chemicals, gunshot, and rituals. Public enlightenment on far reaching consequences of sudden traumatic blindness, health education on preventive measures, legislation and adequate punitive measures are important tools required to reduce this menace. Adequate psychotherapy by behavioral scientist, rehabilitation, and societal reintegration is mandatory to effectively treat cases.


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