Frequency of Conjunctivitis among Farmers of District Vehari, Punjab, Pakistan
Conjuntivitis among farmers of Vehari
Conjunctivitis is a globally prevalent ocular and/eye infection. The basic motivation of the current study may be traced back to the association of conjunctivitis with unhygienic situations and sunlight exposure. The daily routine of farmers, overwhelming poverty, and illiteracy ratio may have further enhanced the incidence ratio of conjunctivitis. The ocular infection and/or conjunctivitis is caused by various pathogens, if not managed properly and appropriately may lead to corneal perforation or blindness.
Objective: The study has been designed to find out the prevalence of various pathogenic and allergic conjunctivitis among farmers in the district Vehari, Punjab, Pakistan.Methods: It was a community-based and cross-sectional descriptive studyfrom October- November 2019. The study involved the quantitative analytical method.Anterior segments of eyes followed by posterior segments were examined by using an ophthalmoscope and torchlight for the diagnosisof conjunctivitis. Data on pathogenic and allergic conjunctiva was collected. Result: Our study indicated that 33(16.5%) farmers were found with the symptoms ascertained with conjunctivitis. Among the studied subjects, 29(14.5%) and 4(2%) farmers were found with bacterial and viral conjunctivitis, respectively. As far as the tendency of seeking medical help and ophthalmic consultation is concerned, 31(15.5%) and 19(9.5%) patients preferred to get examined by an eye specialist and traditional treatment, respectively. However, 150(75%) patients neglected to seek any medical aid. It was found 27 (13.5%), and 55 (27.5%) farmers were using glasses and traditional eye protective measures, respectively. However, almost sixty percent 118(59%) of farmers were not using any type of eye-protective measures. It was found that 59%, 30%, and 11% farmer population was exposed to sunlight for almost six, four, and two hours, respectively on daily basis. Conclusions:The use of prevalent traditional protective measures and lack of treatment or medical aid seeking trendby farmers has been found responsible for the high incidence of bacterial conjunctivitis. Moreover, long working hours and sunlight exposure alongwith the predominant unhygienic conditions may further quadruple the frequency of viral and bacterial conjunctivitis.The high prevalence ratio of conjunctivitis, eye infections, and ocular injuries highlight the need of observing universal eye safety and precautionary measures.Keeping in view the downtrodden economic conditions of the farmers and agriculturalists in the country and the financial repercussions associated with the infection, a state-ownedmedical awareness and relief process must be ensured and encouraged for the Pakistani community.
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