Non-cycloplegic refractive screening can identify infants whose visual outcome at 4 years is improved by spectacle correction.
Anker S., Atkinson J., Braddick O., Nardini M., Ehrlich D.
The Second Cambridge Population Infant Vision Screening Programme using the VPR-1 videorefractor without cycloplegia was undertaken in order to identify those infants with refractive errors who were potentially amblyogenic or strabismogenic. Infants identified at eight months were entered into a control trial of treatment with partial spectacle correction and underwent a long-term follow-up that monitored a wide range of visual, visuoperceptual, visuocognitive, visuomotor, linguistic and social development. In the present paper, the authors report on the outcome measures of visual acuity and strabismus. Poor acuity was defined as a best-corrected acuity of 6/12 or worse on crowded letters or 6/9 or worse on single letters, at age 4 years. Acuity was measured in 79 infants who were significantly hyperopic and/or anisometropic at 11-12 months of age, 23 who showed hyperopia of +3D but less than +3.5D, 196 control subjects, 14 controls with refractive errors, and 126 others who showed an accommodative lag on screening but were not significantly hyperopic on first retinoscopy. There was a poorer acuity outcome in the untreated group of hyperopes compared to controls (p < 0.0001) and to the children who were compliant in spectacle wear (p < 0.001) or who were prescribed spectacles (p < 0.05). Children who were significantly hyperopic at eight months were also more likely to be strabismic by 5.5 years compared to the emmetropic control group (p < 0.001). However, the present study did not find a significant difference in the incidence of strabismus between corrected and uncorrected hyperopic infants. Children who were not refractively corrected for significant hyperopia were four times more likely to have poor acuity at 5.5 years than infants who wore their hyperopic correction, supporting the findings of the First Cambridge Population Infant Vision Screening Programme.