Causes of low vision in patients referred to the Low Vision Service in a Reference Center of Ophthalmology

Abstract Purpose: To identify the prevalence of the most common diseases diagnosed in the Low Vision Service (LVS) Methods: Seven hundred and thirteen patient’s clinical records were evaluated. The best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in the better eye was collected. All of the diagnosed diseases related to visual impairment were identified and classified. A total of 220 patients (36.6%) fulfilled the concept of low vision (group 1), and 381 patients (63.39%) presented legal blindness (groups 2, 3, 4 and 5), according to the WHO Study Group on the Prevention of Blindness (Geneva, l972). Results: The most prevalent disorder was the group of Retinal Inherited Distrophies (n=124; 20.63%). Following the first group were Ocular toxoplasmosis with chorioretinal scars (118 cases, representing a prevalence of 19.63%), Myopic Maculopathy (38-6.32%), Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD) (36 cases, representing a prevalence of 6%). Conclusion: Planning and implementing preventive actions in ophthalmology requires appropriate comprehension about regional clinical problems. Social support, and a proper partnership between educational and health systems, are important to improve visual outcomes in patients diagnosed with low vision and legal blindness.