• AGUWA US Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus.
  • OVIE FO Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Madonna University Nigeria.
  • ONOIKHUA EE Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, Madonna University Nigeria.
  • OLU SI Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Madonna University Nigeria.


Genetic, cultural, and environmental factors play key roles in the prevalence and distribution of refractive errors. More youths in Nigeria today use medicated glasses to enhance vision than we had in the past decades. This study is aimed at revealing the prevalence of refractive errors among students of Madonna University Nigeria, Elele campus, Rivers state. One thousand questionnaires were randomly distributed to the 3rd year undergraduate students in various departments in the College of Medicine, including anatomy, physiology, medical laboratory science, optometry, public health, and pharmacy. Eight hundred and fifty-two (85.2%) out of the 1000 of the questionnaires shared were retrieved and analyzed using simple percentages. Data collected included information on age, sex, state of origin, place of residence, and presence of refractive errors. Our results reveal that the incidence of refractive errors was highest in the North-west region of the country having (93.55%). This was followed by South-west (50.51%), South-south (32.88%), South-east (27.67%), North-central (18.03%), and North-east (15.79%). The highest occurring refractive error among the six geopolitical regions of Nigeria is myopia (54%), followed by hyperopia (21.01%), astigmatism (15.30%), and presbyopia (9.46%). This work represents the first attempt at having a comprehensive outlook at the statistics of refractive errors among Nigerian youths from across the country.

Keywords: Refractive errors, Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism, Presbyopia


1. Adeoti CO, Egbewale BE. Refractive errors in Mercyland specialist hospital, Osogbo, Western Nigeria. Niger Postgrad Med J 2008;15:116-9.
2. Dandona R, Dandona L, Naduvilath TJ, Srinivas M, McCarty CA, Rao GN. Refractive errors in an urban population in Southern India: The Andhra Pradesh eye disease study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1999;40:2810-8.
3. Prema N. Causing factors of refractive error in children: Heredity or environment. Indian J Sci Technol 2011;4:
4. Holden BA, Sulaiman S, Knox K. The challenge of providing spectacles in the developing world. J Community Eye Health 2000;13:9-10.
5. National Committee for Prevention of Blindness. National Programme for Prevention of Blindness: First Five Year Plan. Islamabad, Pakistan: National Committee for Prevention of Blindness, Ministry of Health, Special Education and Social Welfare; 1994-98. p. 24.
6. Feldkamper M, Schaeffel F. Interactions of genes and environment in myopia. Dev Ophthalmol 2003;37:34-49.
7. Zadnik K, Satariamo WA, Mutti DO, Cheung YY. The effects of parental H/o myopia on children eye size. JAMA 1994;271:1323-7.
8. Zadnik K. The Glenn A. Fry Award Lecture (1995). Myopia development in childhood. Optom Vis Sci 1997;74:603-8.
9. Mutti DO, Mitchell GL, Moeschberger ML, Jones LA, Zadnik K. Parental myopia, near work, school achievement, and children’s refractive error. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2002;43:3633-40.
10. Saw SM, Zhang MZ, Hong RZ, Fu ZF, Pang MH, Tan DT. Near-work activity, night lights, and myopia in the Singapore-China study. Arch Ophthalmol 2002;120:620-7.
11. Dunaway D, Berger I. Worldwide Distribution of Visual Refractive Errors and what to Expect at a Particular Location.: Presentation to the International Society for Geographic and Epidemiologic Ophthalmology; 2006. p. 1-9.
12. Tebepah T. Pattern of eye diseases in Port Harcout and an oil producing rural community. Niger J Ophthalmol 1995;3:6-8.
13. Ayed T, Sokkah M, Charfi O, El Matri L. Epidemiologic study of refractive errors in schoolchildren in socioeconomically deprived regions in Tunisia. J Fr Ophthalmol 2002;25:712-17.
14. Chuka-Okosa CM. Refractive Errors among students of a postprimary institution in a rural community in South-Eastern Nigeria. West Afr J Med 2005;24:62-5.
15. Curtin BJ. The Myopias: Basic Science and Clinical Management. Philadelphia, PA: Harper and Row; 1985. p. 39-59.
16. Mutti DO, Zadnik K. Age-related decreases in the prevalence of myopia: Longitudinal change or cohort effect? Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2000;41:2103-7.
17. Saw SM, Gazzard G, Koh D, Farook M, Widjaja D, Lee J, et al. Prevalence rates of refractive errors in Sumatra, Indonesia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2002;43:3174-80.
18. Raju P, Ramesh SV, Arvind H, George R, Baskaran M, Paul PG, et al. Prevalence of refractive errors in a rural South Indian population. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2004;45:4268-72.
19. Adegbehingbe BO, Majekodunmi AA, Akinsola FB, Soetan EO. Pattern of refractive errors at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Niger J Ophthalmol 2003;11:76-9.
20. Faderin MA, Ajaiyeoba AI. Refractive errors in primary school children in Nigeria. Niger J Ophthalmol 2001;9:10-4.
21. Montes-Mico R, Ferrer-Blasco T. Distribution of refractive errors in Spain. Doc Ophthalmol 2000;101:25-33.
22. Kawuma M, Mayeku R. A survey of the prevalence of refractive errors among children in lower primary schools in Kampala District. Afr Health Sci 2002;2:69-72.
23. Askira BH, Akobundu MN. Refractive errors in Maiduguri. BOMJ 2006;3:7-9.
24 Views | 1 Downloads
How to Cite
AGUWA US, FO, O., EE, O., & SI, O. (2020). REFRACTIVE ERRORS AMONG NIGERIAN YOUTHS. Innovare Journal of Medical Sciences, 8(3), 1-4.
Original Article(s)