Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology

Practice Of Ophthalmic Self-Medication Among Patients In Central India: Questionnaire Based Study

Lipi Chakrabarty
Department of Ophthalmology
Chandulal Chandrakar Memorial Medical College & Hospital
Durg, Chhattisgarh, India

Editor-in-Chief, Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology, Dr R.P.Centre, AIIMS.

Corresponding Author:

Lipi Chakrabarty 
MBBS, DNB, MNAMS (Ophthalmology), FAEH (Glaucoma) 
Chandulal Chandrakar Memorial Medical College & Hospital
Durg, Chhattisgarh, India

Received: 14-SEP-2020 Accepted: 14-OCT-2020 Published Online: 05-OCT-2021

Purpose: To identify and analyze the practice of ocular self-medication in adult patients attending an ophthalmology clinic in central India.

Methods: A cross sectional, descriptive, questionnaire-based observational study was carried out at Durg, Chhattisgarh, India over a period of eight months from July 2017 to February 2018. The study included 1490 consecutive and consenting adult patients reporting for the first time in a private ophthalmology clinic. Self-medication was defined as the use of ophthalmic medicines used in the past one year without consultation of health care professionals. Responses to a semi-structured questionnaire covering socio-demographic details and various aspects of eye medication usage like duration, source, reason etc. were obtained with a face-to-face interview. The relationship between self-medication and demographic factors was analyzed using chi-square test of association, univariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression.

Results: 432 subjects (29%) reported using ophthalmic medications without consulting an ophthalmologist. Patients used medications commonly for itching of eyes (41%), burning sensation (39%) and watering (38%). The most common used eye drops were ayurvedic and herbal (21%), antibiotics (17%) and antibiotic-steroid combination (10%). Of the patients who self-medicated, majority used medications recommended by pharmacist or relatives and friends. Males (OR: 1.51, p= 0.0007), married subjects (OR: 2.05, p= 0.0001) and rural patients (OR: 1.29, p= 0.046) were more likely to self-medicate. No significant difference was found in self-medication practices according to age (p=0.291) and level of education (p=0.983).

Conclusion: Arbitrary practice of ophthalmic self-medication is prevailing. This warrants educational efforts, public awareness and regulatory legislations to lessen the consequences.

Keywords :Self-Medication, Eye Drops, Ophthalmic Medicine, Questionnaire, Central India

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