AIM: To estimate the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment resulting from cataract in the population aged ≥50y in Hungary, and to assess the cataract surgical services. METHODS: A rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) was conducted. A total of 3523 eligible people were randomly selected and examined. Each participant underwent surgery for cataract was interviewed with regard to the year, place, and costs of the surgery. Participants with obvious cataract were asked why they had not yet undergone surgery (barriers to surgery). RESULTS: An estimated 12 514 people were bilaterally blind; the visual acuity (VA) in 19 293 people was <6/60, and the VA in 73 962 people was <6/18 in the better eye due to cataract. An estimated 77 933 eyes are blind; 98 067 eyes had a VA of <6/60, and an estimated 277 493 eyes had a VA of <6/18 due to cataract. Almost all cataract surgeries were conducted in government hospitals. The age- and sex-adjusted cataract surgical coverage with VA<3/60 in eyes was 90.0%. The rate of good visual outcome after surgery was 79.5%. Ocular comorbidity was the main cause of poor outcome (78.1%), followed by late complications (such as posterior capsule opacification) (17.2%), inadequate optical correction (3.1%), and surgical complications (1.6%). The main barrier to surgery in people with bilateral cataract and VA of <6/60 was 'need not felt'. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of visual impairment resulting from cataract is slightly higher than expected. The quality of the cataract surgical service seems adequate in Hungary. However, the number of cataract operations per year should continue to increase due to the increasing patient demands and the aging population.
- Cataract prevalence
- Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness
- Visual impairment
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