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Ocular Morbidity among Earthquake Survivors in a Community Based Hospital in Nepal
Shrestha P, Sthapit PR

Background Nepal suffered a massive loss of lives and property following devastating earthquake on Saturday 25 April, 2015 and 12 May, 2015. Though Nepal is prone to natural disasters and ocular trauma being important cause of visual morbidity, the impact of ocular trauma in disaster setting has rarely been studied. Objective The aim of this study was to report the spectrum of ocular morbidities among the earthquake survivors who presented to a tertiary care Hospital which lies close to major earthquake hit districts of Nepal. Method This is a hospital based retrospective study where details of all the cases with ocular injury or ocular diseases during first three weeks of earthquake were extracted from the record books of Ophthalmology and Emergency department. Detail ophthalmic examination findings and treatment received by the patients were also noted from the records, tabulated and analyzed. Result There were total 3679 earthquake survivors, majority from Kavrepalanchowk district, visiting our Hospital during first three weeks of earthquake among which 92 patients had ocular problems. Among the 117 affected eyes, 75% had unilateral involvement. Males and females were equally affected. Children and adolescents of age group 11-20 years was the most commonly affected age group. Spectrum of ocular injuries ranged from lid lacerations, conjunctival inflammation to sixth nerve palsy and traumatic optic neuropathy. Conclusion Ocular morbidity either in the form of ocular injuries or diseases were common in polytrauma cases among the earthquake survivors. Though most of them had eyelid injuries and conjunctival inflammations, vision threatening conditions were also observed which needed expert opinion and meticulous treatment.
Keyword : Earthquake, ocular trauma, ocular morbidity