Refractive errors and its associated factors among undergraduate medical students in Kathmandu
Refractive error is a defect in the optical system of the eye which prevents light from being brought toa single point focus on the retina, thus reducing normal vision. This optical defect is the second mostcommon cause of visual impairment globally as well in Nepal. At present, there are 285 million visuallyimpaired people in the world. An estimated 4 out of 5 visual impairment (80%) can be prevented or cured,uncorrected refractive errors are the leading cause (42%) followed by cataract (33%). A descriptive crosssectional study was conducted to determine the proportion of undergraduate medical students withrefractive errors in Nepal Medical College, and to identify factors associated with it. A total of 210 medicalstudents volunteered for this study, with 100 males (47.6%) and 110 females (52.4%). The age of thesestudents were between 18 to 26 years, with an average of 20.5 years. The proportion of medical studentswith refractive error was slightly more than half (51.4%), with simple myopia being the leading type(42.9%), followed by astigmatism (7.1%) and simple hypermetropia (1.4%). Parental history of refractiveerror was observed to be significantly associated with that of the medical students. There was also asignificant association between refractive error and the daily use of mobile phones and laptops. However,years spent in medical education were not observed to be significant.
Keywords : Associated factors, astigmatism,medical students, myopia,refractive error