World Journal of Medical and Surgical Ophthalmology Volume No 3

Research Open Access

Prevalence of Refractive Errors and its Associated Factors among Female Students of King Saud University, Riyadh

Shaffi Ahmed Shaik, Mashael Abdulaziz Alkhayyal, Alanoud Khalid AlHammad, Alanoud Mohammad AlOmair, Dalal Ibrahim AlFayez, Dina Saleh AlMunif and Maysoon Abdulhadi AlHaizan
World Journal of Medical and Surgical Ophthalmology 2016, 2:1



To quantify the prevalence of refractive errors and its associated factors among female students of KSU and to compare different methods of correction and also pattern of adherence towards the guidelines for wearing contact lenses between medical and non-medical female students.

Study design

An observational quantitative cross sectional study.

Material and methods

This study was conducted amongst 345, 3rd and 4th year female students at female academic medical center and female Business College in KSU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during March, 2013. A well-structured pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect the data. The data was analyzed with SPSS 21.0 version statistical package.


The prevalence of refractive error among female students was 55.4% (191 out of 345). Refractive errors were significantly higher in medical students than non-medical students with percentages of 61.3% and 49.4% respectively. A statistical significant association was observed between developing refractive errors and spending long hours in front of computer screen. Non-medical students adhere more to guidelines for wearing contact lenses when compared to medical students.


A higher proportion of female students in KSU have refractive errors, in which medical students were more affected than non-medical students. Students who are at high risk (e.g. family history, exposed to near work) should be aware about the problem and start preventive measures early. Further studies are needed to find out why medical students take less care about their medical problems.

Key words

contact lenses, medical students, myopia, near work, refractive errors, risk factors.

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