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Assessment of knowledge regarding cataract among Saudi adult population in Makkah city, Saudi Arabia

Moustafa S Magliyah, Mohammed R Nageeb, Dina M Abdulmannan, Hattan M Badr, Mohammed M Hemmeish, Waleed T Alotaibi, Emad F Azhari.

Background: Cataract is the most common age-related eye disease and the most treatable cause of visual loss in adults. It is responsible for 52.6% of blindness and 20.6% of visual impairment in southwestern region of Saudi Arabia.

Objective: To assess the knowledge of Saudi population in Makkah city about cataract.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, between April and September 2011. It includes a representative sample of the Saudi population in Makkah city who were 40 years or older. Questionnaires consisting of items assessing the knowledge of cataract were administered to the participants. They were attending Primary Health Care Centers in Makkah city.

Results: The study included 384 persons, 81% were men and 19% women. Most of them (72.4%) did not know that cataract is an increase in the opacity of the lens and 78% did not know that cataract can lead to blindness. Majority (90.6%) of population was not aware that the incidence of cataract increases by positive family history and 76.4% that the incidence of cataract increases by age. Almost two-thirds of them (65.9%) did not know that it is treated surgically when it affects vision.

Conclusion: Saudi population in Makkah city aged 40 years or above possessed poor knowledge about cataract. Therefore, efforts should be made to increase the knowledge and awareness of the general public about the disease.

Key words: Cataract, eye disease, knowledge, Saudi Arabia

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