March 2012
Volume 53, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   March 2012
Visual Acuity and Refractive Error in an Unscreened Population of Children
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jan Roelof Polling
    Ophthalmology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    Orthoptics & Optometry, University of Applied Siences, Faculty of Health, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Sjoukje E. Loudon
    Ophthalmology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Caroline C. Klaver
    Ophthalmology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Jan Roelof Polling, None; Sjoukje E. Loudon, None; Caroline C. Klaver, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 2012, Vol.53, 3878. doi:
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      Jan Roelof Polling, Sjoukje E. Loudon, Caroline C. Klaver; Visual Acuity and Refractive Error in an Unscreened Population of Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):3878.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : Whether population-based screening for amblyopia is cost-effective is still a topic of debate. We determined visual acuity and refractive error in an unscreened cohort of children, and assessed prevalence of amblyopia.

Methods: : All children aged 0-12 years living in a rural village in Poland were invited to participate in an orthoptic and ophthalmologic examination including best-corrected LogMAR visual acuity and cyclopegic refraction. Amblyopia was defined as a visual acuity >0.3 and a difference of more than 2 LogMAR lines.

Results: : 591 children (94.1%) were examined, of whom 51% were boys. Of children with measurable visual acuity (421), 31% had visual acuity > 0.1, and 10.7% had visual acuity >0.3. The mean spherical equivalent was 1.17D ranging from -5D to +7.75D; refractive error was the sole cause of low vision (>0.3) in 7%. Prevalence of amblyopia was 2.5%; main cause was anisometropia (33%).

Conclusions: : Prevalence of amblyopia was more than twice as high as in screened populations. Uncorrected refractive error was the most common cause of decreased visual acuity, and a common cause of amblyopia. We recommend population-based survey in preschool children with a focus on visual acuity.

Keywords: amblyopia • refraction • visual acuity 

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