Eye rubbing: a survey of awareness of keratoconus and it’s relation with eye rubbing in Jeddah

Ahmed T. Alnahdi (1)
Asma A. Alzahrani (2)
Mayar M. Almehmadi (2)
Esraa A. Alzahrani (3)

(1) Resident, East Jeddah hospital, Jeddah, KSA
(2) Ophthalmologist, East Jeddah hospital, Jeddah, KSA
(3) Medical student King Abdulaziz university

Corresponding author:
Dr. Asma A. AlzahraniResident, East Jeddah hospital,
Jeddah, KSA
Tel.: +966 592714477

Received: January 2021; Accepted: February 2021; Published: March 1, 2021. Citation: Asma A. Alzahrani et al.Eye rubbing: a survey of awareness of keratoconus and it’s relation with eye rubbing in Jeddah. World Family Medicine. 2021; 19(3): 141-150 DOI: 10.5742/MEWFM.2021.94018


: Previous Saudi studies have revealed poor public awareness about keratoconus (KC) and eye rubbing as the most common associated factor among KC patients.

Objectives: to assess the level of awareness and knowledge of keratoconus and its relation to eye rubbing in Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was done on 504 of the Saudi population. A pre-designed questionnaire was used to collect data about personal characteristics, knowledge about KC, practice of eye rubbing and the cause and history of atopic or eye diseases.

Results: 48.8% of the participants had heard about KC. The commonest source of information was reading and lectures, 21.4% reported correctly that KC is thinning of cornea and 32.9% and 50.4% reported correctly that KC is related to allergy and myopia respectively. Only 4.8% think that there was no treatment for KC, 75.8% were rubbing their eyes and for 40.9% the cause of rubbing was itching. Only 9.3% had a family history of KC and the levels of poor, fair and good knowledge about KC were 63.3%, 31.9% and 4.8% respectively. Participants who had previous knowledge about KC from their friends and relative, those who had KC, those from the northern region and those who had previously heard about Kc had a significant higher percentage of good knowledge.

Conclusion: The deficient awareness about KC revealed in this study calls for health education programs to raise the public awareness about this eye disorder.

Key words: eye, rubbing, awareness, survey, keratoconus, Jeddah