Rashed Raja Alshammari *, Sulaiman Saud Alsamaan , Turki Saad Aljuhani , Abdullah Saud Alshammari , Hamoud Hussein Al-Sunitan , Dr. Abrar Wazzan
The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of uncorrected refractive errors (URE) among children 3-10 years of age and to confirm the need for a national school-based visual screening program for school-aged children. Due to quarantine in Saudi Arabia due to the spread of Coronavirus, this study is dependent on previous studies, and the researcher analyzes the results of previous studies related to the subject so that the researcher uses the inductive approach with the use of citations for all sources. The main study discussed was a retrospective cross-sectional study conducted in Medina, Saudi Arabia in 2015. Children were selected through multi-stage stratified random sampling from 8 kindergartens and 8 primary schools. Those included were screened to diagnose UREs using a visual acuity chart and an auto-refractometer as per American guidelines. Prevalence and types of UREs have been estimated. The results of this study are based on the results of (Alrahili et al., 2017) which found that 1893 of the 2121 children listed had been examined, yielding a response rate of 89.3 per cent. The prevalence of URE was 34.9 per cent (95 per cent CI = 32.8 per cent-37.1 per cent), with significant differences in different age groups. The prevalence of astigmatism (25.3 per cent) was higher than that of anisometropia (7.4 per cent), hypermetropia (1.5 per cent) and myopia (0.7 per cent). The risk of incorrect refractive error was positively associated with age, and this was mentioned in astigmatism, myopia, and anisometropia. In addition, the risk of hypermetropy was associated with boys and the risk of myopia was associated with girls. To conclude, the prevalence of URE, in particular astigmatism, was high among children 3-10 years of age in Medina, with significant age differences. Vision screening programs targeting kindergartens and primary school children are crucial in reducing the risk of the preventable visual impairment according to URE. Key words: Refractive Error, School Children, Astigmatism.