Visual Impairment and Eye Disease Among Children of Migrant Farmworkers
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To determine the prevalence of reduced visual acuity and ocular disease in the children of migrant farmworkers in Georgia. METHODS:A retrospective chart review of data acquired by a vision screening was performed on 156 Haitian and Hispanic children of migrant farmworkers attending a summer school in Georgia. Reduced visual acuity at presentation was analyzed and stratified by ethnicity, type of ocular disease, and immediate resolution with refractive correction. RESULTS:The authors found that 20% of migrant farmworker children have a high prevalence of reduced visual acuity in the worse eye. Of those with worse-eye reduced visual acuity, 83% had uncorrected refractive error. The prevalence of uncorrected refractive error from astigmatism and high astigmatism was significantly higher among Hispanics than Haitians. The prevalence of amblyopia suspects among migrant farmworker children was 3%. Of the amblyopia suspects, 80% were anisometropic. CONCLUSIONS:Children of migrant farmworkers in Georgia have a higher rate of reduced visual acuity, largely from uncorrected refractive error, when compared to other Hispanic and African American children in the United States with a prevalence more aligned to children in Asian and Latin American countries than school children in the United States. This illustrates the need for improved access to screening and care in this vulnerable population. [J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2019;56(1):28-34.].