Visual impairment is a global health problem, particularly people living in low- and middle-income countries. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of visual impairment and factors associated with it among adults aged ≥ 40 years in a Medical Officer of Health area in Sri Lanka.
A community based descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 602 adults aged ≥ 40 years selecting from cluster sampling technique. Visual acuity of < 6/18 in the better eye was considered as visual impairment. Low vision was defined as visual acuity of 6/18 to 3/60 in the better eye and blindness as < 3/60 in the better eye. The prevalence of visual impairments along with best corrected prevalence and its 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Multiple logistic regression was perform to assess the associated factors and results were expressed as Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) and 95% CI.
Overall prevalence of visual impairment was 21.3% (95% CI: 18.0%-24.6%). The prevalence of low vision and blindness were 19.6% (95% CI: 16.4%-21.8%) and 1.7% (95% CI: 0.67%-2.7%) respectively. The prevalence of best corrected visual impairment was 11% (95% CI: 8.5%-13.4%). The prevalence of best corrected low vision and blindness was 8.3% (95% CI: 7.1%-11.5%) and 1.7% (95% CI: 0.67%-2.7%) respectively. Age ≥ 60 years (AOR = 6.30, 95% CI: 3.9-10.1) and low monthly income (AOR = 2.09, 95% CI: 1.3-3.4) were associated with visual impairment.
Visual impairment was a public health problem among adults aged ≥ 40 years in the above study setting.