Prevalence and Etiology of Amblyopia in Southern India: Results from Screening of School Children Aged 5-15 years

Sunil Ganekal, Vishal Jhanji, Yuanbo Liang, Syril Dorairaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the prevalence and etiology of amblyopia in school children. Methods: A total of 4020 school children aged between 5 and 15 years were screened in a population-based, cross-sectional study. Best corrected visual acuity and detailed ophthalmic evaluation were performed in all participants. Amblyopia associated with degraded visual input due to high refractive error was labeled ametropic amblyopia. Anisometropic amblyopia was diagnosed in participants with interocular refractive error difference ≥1 diopter. Strabismic amblyopia included that due to conflicting visual inputs between the eyes due to squint. Stimulus deprivation amblyopia was defined as amblyopia due to obstruction of the visual axis. Results: Prevalence of amblyopia was 1.1% (n=44). The number of boys with amblyopia (n=25, 57%) was slightly higher than the number of girls with amblyopia (n=19, 43%; p=0.6). A total of 28 (63.7%) children had mild to moderate amblyopia, whereas 16 (36.3%) had severe amblyopia. Underlying amblyogenic causes were ametropia (50%), anisometropia (40.9%), strabismus (6.8%), visual deprivation (4.5%) and combined causes (2.2%). No statistically significant difference was noted in the prevalence of amblyopia between rural (1.2%) and urban (0.9%) children (p=0.5). Conclusion: In this study, the prevalence of amblyopia was 1.1% of the school children. Ametropia and anisometropia were the most common causes of amblyopia. We did not find any significant difference in amblyopia prevalence between rural and urban school children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-231
Number of pages4
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Amblyopia
  • Cross-sectional study
  • Refractive error
  • School children
  • Strabismus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology


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