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Arch Environ Occup Health. 2008 Spring;63(1):13-6. doi: 10.3200/AEOH.63.1.13-16.

Vision problems, eye care history, and ocular protection among migrant farmworkers.

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Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical Center Blvd,Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


In this article, the authors describe the self-reported eye conditions, eyecare history, and eye safety practices of migrant farmworkers in eastern North Carolina. The authors administered interviews to 79 farmworkers recruited at migrant clinics. Data collected included eye-related complaints and diagnoses, self-assessed visual acuity, eye symptoms, use of protective gear during work, and attitudes toward eye protection gear. Fair or poor eyesight was reported by 21.3%. Only 4 (5.1%) reported wearing glasses or contact lenses. More than 11% reported difficulty in recognizing a friend across the street, and 19.5% reported difficulty in reading. About 20% reported each of several eye symptoms. Fewer than 1 in 10 wore eye protection at work. Of all, 38% reported never having visited any eyecare professional. Farmworkers have a high level of unmet need for both routine preventive eye care and treatment or correction of vision problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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