1Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
2General Practitioner, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran,
3Nurse, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Background & Aims: Abuse of topical anesthetic drops causes serious ocular complications. Obtaining
information about the prevalence of anesthetic drops abuse among high risk groups specially welders is
necessary for taking appropriate strategies for prevention. The present study aimed at determining the
prevalence of anesthetic drops abuse among welders in Kerman.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 390 welders selected randomly were asked for the consumption of
anesthetic drops by using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed by SPSS 11.5 software.
Results: In whole, 314 ones (80.5%) said that they use tetracaine and of whom 295 ones (93.9%) had used
the drug frequently. Lack of time for referring to Physician, high cost of visiting by physicians, spontaneous
relief of symptoms and no other therapeutic measure by physicians were the most important reasons of selftreatment
in welders. In whole, 216 ones (69.3%) had heard about these drugs from their coworkers, 85 ones
(27.2%) from physicians, 51 ones (16.3%) from pharmacy personnel and 9 ones (2.9%) from their family
members. The prevalence of abuse was significantly higher in those with post secondary educational level
(P<0.05). Most of the subjects (97.4%) had got the drugs from pharmacies and without prescription.
Conclusion: High prevalence of anesthetic drops abuse among welders and probably other similar jobs and
educated people, their prescription by general practitioners and their selling in pharmacies without
prescription requires more serious measures for prevention.