Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the improvement in distance and near visual acuity in a sample population in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Methods: A humanitarian eye clinic was established for 4 days in Cooperativa Luchadores del Norte, Guayaquil, Ecuador. 961 patients were evaluated for refractive error and ocular health. An entering visual acuity was taken both at near and far and an exiting visual acuity was taken after a spectacle correction was dispensed, at both near and far.
Results: Of the 961 patients seen there were 796 complete files that are included in the analysis. 247 of the patients with reduced distance visual acuity received a distance prescription. The average entering distance acuity was 20143.8 and the average exiting acuity improved to 20129.0. 297 patients with reduced near visual acuity received a near prescription in the form of bifocals or single vision readers. The overall mean for the near entering acuity was 20150.8 and improved to a mean exiting visual acuity of 20126.5. 415 patients entered into our clinic having excellent visual acuities at near and far. An improvement in near visual acuity was also noted in the majority of patients with cataracts.
Conclusion: A large number of patients in this population had a significant improvement in their visual acuities, especially at near with the provision of spectacle correction.
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