Vision Screening With Just An Eye Chart?

Vision Screenings With Just an Eye Chart Can Miss Hyperopia and Astigmatism

LIDCOMBE, Australia, August 2010 — In a study of 2,353 adolescent students in Sydney, vision screenings using letter charts viewed at the eye testing distance were found to be reliable indicators of shortsightedness (myopia), but not of longsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.

Hyperopia is a risk factor for squint (strabismus) and lazy eye (amblyopia), which can cause progressive vision problems over time if left undetected..

The study included data for year 7 students with an average age of 12.7 years at 21 secondary schools in Sydney.

In vision screenings that used only eye charts, "many children with clinically significant levels of hyperopia and astigmatism would not be referred for treatment," wrote the study authors in their report that appeared in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

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