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Clinical profile of amblyopia in a tertiary care facility without proper vision screening in Saudi Arabia.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical profile of amblyopia among patients referred to a tertiary care facility in Saudi Arabia.

METHODS: All patients between 1 and 14 years presenting to the amblyopia clinic from 2016 to 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. Amblyopia was defined as visual acuity <0.2 LogMAR (20/30) in the worse eye or two-line difference between the two eyes. We classified patients into strabismic, refractive, mixed strabismic, and refractive and deprivation amblyopia. We subclassified our cohort according to age (< and ≥5 years).

RESULTS: Three hundred and eighty-three patients (199 male 54%) were seen in our clinic. Seventeen patients were excluded because they did not meet our inclusion criteria. The mean age at presentation was 5.05 ± 2.49 years. Strabismic amblyopia was found in 180 (49%), refractive in 101 (27.6%), mixed in 69 (19%), and deprivation in 16 (4.2%). Anisometropia in 85.25% and isometropia in 14.75%. Hyperopic astigmatism was the most common refractive error in 246 (67.2%). Esotropia was the most common deviation (90%). Strabismic amblyopia was significantly higher in the <5 years group (62.4% vs. 36.7%). While refractive amblyopia was significantly higher in ≥5 years group (38.8% vs. 15.7%) ( P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Strabismic amblyopia was the most commonly diagnosed in our cohort, especially among patients <5 years of age. Refractive amblyopia was more common in older patients and may be under-detected due to the lack of proper vision screening. The implementation of proper vision screening should help in early detection and successful treatment at an early age.

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