Five years of data from pediatric vision screenings have provided researchers significant insight into the most common refractive complications in kids. Through the University of California, Los Angeles Preschool Vision Program, 93,097 children were screened between 2012 and 2017. Of these, 14,259 were referred for full cycloplegic examination because they met specific refractive criteria for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism or anisometropia. Ultimately, 6,779 underwent cycloplegic and data from the right eye was including in this study.

The team found 93% of the study participants presented with astigmatism, while 61% had hyperopia, 20% had myopia and 11.5% had refractive amblyopia. They noted that Latino children had higher rates of astigmatism and worse visual acuity compared with all other races/ethnicities. The investigators added that an astigmatism cutoff of ≥1.50D in either eye correctly predicted the need for glasses 93% of the time, while applying this cutoff in both eyes increased the positive predictive value to 96%.

These findings “provide additional insight on the proportion of common refractive errors and their association with race/ethnicity and can inform screening criteria to more accurately identify children who need intervention to prevent permanent vision loss,” the study authors concluded in their paper.

Margines JB, Huang C, Young A, et al. Refractive errors and amblyopia among children screened by the UCLA Prescbool Vision Program in Los Angeles County. Am J Ophthalmol. October 21, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].