Frequency, course, and impact of correctable visual impairment (uncorrected refractive error)

Julie Schneider, Stephen R. Leeder, Bamini Gopinath, Jie Jin Wang, Paul Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Uncorrected refractive error has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the priorities for Vision 2020 and a frequent cause of visual impairment. In the past, only the terms presenting visual impairment (PVI) and visual impairment after best refractive correction (BCVI) were used, so that PVI also included BCVI cases. In the more recent literature, visual impairment has been subdivided into two mutually exclusive entities: that which is correctable by refraction (which we now term correctable visual impairment, CVI) and that which cannot be corrected by refraction due to ocular or neurological disease (which we now term non-correctable visual impairment, NCVI, and which is identical to BCVI). PVI remains a useful concept as it includes both types of impairment. Although CVI is reported to be the major form of visual impairment worldwide, its impacts are not yet well understood. CVI has a higher prevalence among vulnerable groups such as older people, less well educated people and those living alone or in rural areas. Systematic data on barriers to refractive correction remain scant, but these may be present at the individual level, within the health service context, or at a social level. Our review indicates that research on CVI is at a relatively early stage and that more detailed research, particularly determining whether it has impacts on independent living and quality of life, is needed before CVI can be justifiably prioritized in health policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-560
Number of pages22
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Volume55
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • refractive error
  • correctable visual impairment
  • presenting visual impairment
  • uncorrected refractive error
  • adults
  • children

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