The loss of sight of a person should not remain just a statistics but a personal tragedy, not only for the individual concerned, but for all of us who claim to be concerned. According to National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) Pilot Survey 2001-2002, the prevalence of cataract in + 50 - year population was 62.6%. To assess the impact of the NPCB on reduction of avoidable blindness, this study would help in enlightening the present scenario in this region.
Material and Method: The present community based cross sectional study was conducted among individuals aged 60 years and above residing in the area covered under Vantamuri Primary Health Centre, Belagavi from 1st January to 31st December 2016. Data was collected from the study subject regarding socio-demographic variables and personal history, external eye examination was conducted
Results: The prevalence of cataract among elderly population in rural area was 40.16%. Out of 249 participants who had cataract, 18 (7.23%) had it only in right eye, 19 (7.63%) had in left eye and 212 (85.14%) had cataract in both eyes. The risk factors for cataract included belonging to Muslim and Jain religion, lower literacy status and increased exposure to indoor air pollution.
Conclusion: The present cross sectional study, reveals that the prevalence of cataract among elderly in rural area in the past 15 years has reduced by about 20%. But still some socio-cultural factors prevail among the rural population like ignorance towards the effects of morbidity was the major setback for seeking treatment. Such behaviour was more common in elderly female, who were the most affected by it.