Review Article

Prevalence of amblyopia among the children of Saudi Arabia: A systematic review, 1990–2020

Naveen K. Challa
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 81, No 1 | a752 | DOI: | © 2022 Naveen K. Challa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 March 2022 | Published: 26 September 2022

About the author(s)

Naveen K. Challa, Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Buraidah, Saudi Arabia


Background: Amblyopia is the leading cause of visual impairment in children and as such poses a public health problem. Prevalence studies are required to determine the magnitude of visual impairment because of amblyopia. Although there are studies that reported the prevalence of amblyopia in some regions, there are no studies of pooled prevalence of amblyopia in Saudi Arabia. Structured and province-specific studies for Saudi Arabia are thus needed to understand the prevalence and risk factors for amblyopia.

Aim: To use a literature review to estimate the pooled prevalence of amblyopia among children of Saudi Arabia.

Methods: Peer-reviewed articles with data from Saudi Arabian children were extracted between the years 1990 and 2020. The Cochrane Library, PubMed, OVIS, Embase and Google Scholar were used to extract the relevant articles. The paper quality was assessed using a critical assessment tool designed for systematic reviews and from 22 retrieved citations, seven studies were included in this systematic review.

Results: Out of 15 281 pooled children from seven papers, the estimated prevalence of amblyopia was 2.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.1% – 2.6%). Significant heterogeneity (p < 0.001) was found among these studies.

Conclusion: The pooled prevalence of amblyopia among children of Saudi Arabia is approximately 2.3%. This systemic review also demonstrates that there are limited studies that evaluated the prevalence of amblyopia among children of Saudi Arabia and mostly they had a gender bias.

Contribution: This article presents the prevalence of amblyopia among the children of Saudi Arabia and also the variances in the prevalence of amblyopia among the various regions of Saudi Arabia.



amblyopia; prevalence of amblyopia; refractive error; anisometropia; strabismus


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Crossref Citations

1. Parents' Awareness, Knowledge, and Perception of Amblyopia in Children: A Study in Jazan Region, Saudi Arabia
Ismail I Abuallut, Khalid M Alameer, Bandar M Abuageelah, Eman Hurissi, Masoud M Alqahtani, Ibrahim M Gosadi, Faisal M Tubaigy, Yousef M Alyami
Cureus  year: 2023  
doi: 10.7759/cureus.48956