Most of the mentally retarded children suffer from eye disorders

mentaly-retardedA number of studies conducted by ophthalmologists and social workers on mentally retarded children in India showed that nearly 50 percent of them are plagued by several occular problems.

One of those study was conducted on 664 mentally handicapped kids studying in 11 special schools in Pune. The students underwent external ocular, fundus and ocular motility examination. Visual acuity was tested, using necessary cards such as Cambridge and Cardiff.

The study results revealed  38 per cent with a history of consanguinity and ocular morbidity, 45.3 per cent (238) had an ocular problem, the most common being refractive error in 144 (27.3 per cent), strabismus in 83 (15.8 per cent), low vision in 69 (13.1 per cent), nystagmus in 36 (6.8 per cent), optic atrophy in 34 (6.5 per cent) and congenital anomalies in 13 (2.5 per cent).

This clearly demonstrates the one to one mapping between mentally challenged children and visual problems.

The inference that can be drawn from the study is that these special children needs regular ocular examinations with the help of paediatric vision testing charts.

Vision plays a vital role in the life of these innocent, God betrayed children. Most of their education and training depends on eye. Hence their visionary problems must be dealt with in the first place. Only studies and surveys won't help. Proper treatment and care initiatives must be given priority.



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