215 preschool siblings of children presenting with squint/amblyopia were screened by refraction after cycloplegia. The presence of +2.00 or more D of spherical hypermetropia in both eyes, or +1.00 or more D sphere or cylinder of anisometropia was significantly associated (P=0.0779%) with that child being identified 2+ years later as having either squint or amblyopia or both. Astigmatism of +1.50 or more D in either eye was significantly associated with anisometropia (P=0.000 0013%). If bilateral hypermetropia of +2.00 or more DS and/or +1.50 or more D of astigmatism in either eye had been taken as criteria for abnormality (ignoring anisometropia), there was a more significant association (P=0.0025%) between refraction and squint/amblyopia in these siblings. Such a child had 4 times more chance of having a visual defect than one who had no error of refraction when screened. These findings suggest that an environmental factor such as blurred vision may be relatively more important as a cause of squint/amblyopia than a genetically determined neurological abnormality.
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