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A. N. French, K. A. Rose, G. Burlutsky, P. Mitchell, Sydney Childhood Eye Study; Does Correction of Hyperopia Affect the Pattern of Children's Activities, and Does This Differ From That in Emmetropic Children?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):3961.
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To determine whether children with hyperopic refractive errors, both corrected and uncorrected, follow different patterns of everyday activity to children without any significant refractive error.
The Sydney Myopia Study (SMS) examined 2 age samples. Data from the older subgroup of 12-year old children (n=2367) attending 21 randomly-selected high schools across Sydney were used. All children had a comprehensive eye examination; including cycloplegic auto-refraction (cyclopentolate 1%, Canon RK-F1). A questionnaire, completed by parents and children, provided information on daily activities, both on school days and weekends and non-school periods. Clinically significant hyperopia was defined as a spherical equivalent (SE) refraction of ≥ +2.00 dioptres (D), using refraction of the eye with the best presenting visual acuity (VA). Children wearing contact lenses (5) and those who had presenting bilateral visual impairment, VA in the better eye ≤6/12 (20/40), were excluded from analyses.
Clinically significant hyperopia was present in 55 children (2.41%), and of these 33.9% (n=19) wore glasses. The mean SE (SD) of children with hyperopia who wore glasses was significantly greater than among children with hyperopia who did not wear glasses (+3.44 ±1.45 vs +2.79 ± 0.98 respectively; p=<.0001). Children with hyperopia who did not wear glasses, spent significantly less time engaging in close work (mean 19.3 hrs per week) than children with no refractive error (mean 23.6 hrs, p=0.0117), and also read significantly fewer books per week (mean 1.7) than the emmetropic group (mean 2.9, p=0.0010). Children with hyperopia who wore glasses did not significantly differ from those with no refractive error for either of these activities (near work, p=0.7591; books read, p= 0.7985) or in a range of other indoor and outdoor activities including playing outdoor sport (p=0.1468) or watching TV and using computers (p=0.5861).
Children with uncorrected hyperopia spend significantly less time engaged in near-work than children without refractive error or those with hyperopia who wore a glasses correction. As hyperopia has previously been associated with reduced academic performance, and reading is an essential part of schooling, spectacle correction may be necessary for optimal educational outcomes in these children.
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