AIM: The aim of this study is to estimate the prevalence of visual impairment among school-going children in Udupi district, Karnataka. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study across eleven schools from both urban and rural parts of Udupi taluk was conducted to report the magnitude of visual impairment among the schoolchildren. Complex survey design was used in allocating the sample size through stratification and clustering. Totally 1784 schoolchildren between the age groups of 5 and 15 years participated in the study. Presenting visual acuity and objective refraction was measured using computerized logMAR acuity charts and Plusoptix A09 photorefractor, respectively. Manifest ocular deviation or squint was also recorded. RESULTS: The mean age of the students was found to be 10.62 ± 2.72 years. The prevalence of visual impairment, i.e., visual acuity worse than or equal to 20/40 in the better eye was found to be 4.32% (95% confidence interval: 3.38%, 5.26%). The prevalence rate was significantly higher among students from urban area (5.6%) compared to those from rural area (3.6%) (P = 0.011). CONCLUSION: Visual impairment was found to be 4.32% in the school-going population of Udupi district. Effective and user-friendly devices aided the visual deficit screening including refractive error and squint.
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