Causes of low vision and blindness in a Turkish adult population: the Izmir eye study
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Background: Data from Turkey show that sense organ diseases were the second leading cause of years lost due to disability in 2015. However, there are no reliable data on either the baseline causative disorders of visual impairment or the burden of these disorders on the population in Izmir region. Izmir is the third most populated city of Turkey with a population of approximately 4.2 million. Aim: The purpose of this study was to define the baseline disorders causing low vision and blindness in accordance with World Health Organization criteria in an adult population in Izmir. Methods: We evaluated the ophthalmologic reports of 20 790 people in Izmir, Turkey. Age- and sex-specific causes of low vision and blindness were identified. Results: Bilateral low vision and blindness was detected in 347 people, 172 males and 175 females. For those aged 18-50 years, retinal dystrophies (37%), congenital eye anomalies (14%) and myopic degenerations (13%) were the most common causes. For those aged 50+years, age-related macular degeneration (21%) was the leading cause. Diabetic retinopathy (17%), corneal opacities (14%), cataract (12%) and glaucoma (9%) were also important. Sex was not a significant determinant. Conclusion: The specific causes of visual impairment vary greatly with age, however, unavoidable retinal pathologies were the predominant causes at all ages.