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Challenges, Attitudes and Practices of the Spectacle Wearers in a Resource-Limited Economy

Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.61223
  • Original Article
  • Education


Purpose: To evaluate challenges, attitudes and practices among spectacle wearers to effect positive change when necessary, and determine positive change in a resource-limited economy. Materials and Methods: A multi-hospital descriptive, cross sectional survey of spectacle wearers was conducted between May 2007 and December 2008 in Nigeria. Results: A total of 214 wearers comprising 43.5% males and 56.5% females aged 18-84 years were surveyed. The majority of subjects (92.6%) had at least secondary education. The wearers’ challenges included expensive spectacles (43.0%), falling/scratched/broken lenses (29.4%) and fear that spectacles would damage the eyes (23.8%). The wearers’ attitudes were comprised of consultations with ‘road side dispensers’ (7%) and permitting other individuals to select spectacle frames for them (26%). Care and maintaince practices included use of handkerchief, tissue paper, fingers and water to clean spectacles (49.5%) and placing spectacles inside spectacle cases (30.4%). There were no associations (P > 0.05) between gender or literacy levels and who selected the frames for the subjects, caregivers consulted for spectacles, and cleaning materials for spectacles. The placement of spectacles when not in use was significantly associated (P < 0.05) with the wearers’ gender and literacy levels but not with the length of spectacle wear. Conclusion: Attitudes and practices requiring positive change crossed gender and educational levels among spectacle wearers. The cost of spectacles should be regulated and availability of standard eye care practices would reduce challenges including lens-related defects and quackery. During consultation with a recognized eye care professional, counseling of wearers on positive attitudes/practices as well as allaying fear of spectacle wear is required.

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