Background: Epidemiological studies to determine the pattern of eye disorders among children are important for proper health care planning and management. This study aimed to document the spectrum and frequency of eye diseases of children who attended the pediatric ophthalmology clinic of a tertiary teaching hospital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross sectional and convenient sample of 1237, male and female children (16 years and below) with ocular disorders presenting for the first time and those children with settled diagnosis coming for follow up visit between June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019 were included in the study. Data on age at presentation, sex and diagnosis were collected and analyzed. Eye disorders were classified into various categories. Children were grouped into four age groups. Ratios, percentages and chi square associations were calculated. P< 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Of the children 60% were male. The mean age (standard deviation) of the children was 4.26 (+4.1) years. Patients aged 0–5 years old were the largest group constituting 70.5%. Ocular motility imbalances were the most common ocular disorders seen (32.8 %), followed by childhood cataract (18.4%) and infection and inflammation of eye and adnexa (8.3%). Ocular motility imbalances were recorded more frequently and statistically significant (p < 0.001) among 1 5 years age group. Within the childhood cataract category, congenital cataract was more prominent (7.1%). Within the infection and inflammation category, cornea/ sclera infections were more common (3.7%).
Conclusions: The study highlights common eye disorders seen in children in a specialized hospital ophthalmic clinic. Ocular motility imbalance, childhood cataract, and infection and inflammation of the eye and adnexa, were the most common occurring disorders. Early presentation was common, and males were more affected than females.