Awareness of Retinal Detachment amongst medical students with myopia

Khalid Waheed, Asad Chaudhry


Background: Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) is a serious potential blinding condition. It results due to separation of the retina from its underlying supportive layers and is a common cause of ocular morbidity. Although its annual incidence within the Pakistani population has not yet been documented, it is becoming more and more prevalent as a potential cause of blindness among the growing population of Pakistan. Methods and Design: We conducted a cross sectional survey of (myopic) medical students at a higher-risk for developing RRD; a structured questionnaire was compiled adapting knowledge from published studies on the subject matter to inquire about the level of knowledge students had regarding the condition. Results: A total of 138 individuals participated in the study; of those 96% were correctly able to define the condition. Yet, knowledge about RRD beyond its definition was rather limited. The collected results were further divided into two categories and analyzed based on the participant’s monthly family earnings. Knowledge of individuals from low income backgrounds was compared to those from high-income backgrounds. Conclusions were further drawn from the results. Conclusion: Knowledge greater than identifying the condition was relatively poor in the study population. Most were unable to identify many of the causes, symptoms and treatment modalities for RRD. Yet, still others erroneously held the belief that faith healing as well as homeopathic medicine could potentially treat RRD. Based on findings, we conclude that physicians and ophthalmologists alike should counsel their patients on the risks of developing retinal detachment if proper precautions are not taken to manage their eyesight. Key words: Retinal detachment, Scleral buckle surgery, photopsia,Pakistan.