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Spectacle prescribing in childhood: a survey of hospital optometrists
  1. Jane Farbrother (janefarbrother{at}
  1. Oxford Eye Hospital, United Kingdom


    Background/Aims: To determine the spectacle prescribing practices of hospital optometrists for infants and young children

    Methods: A two part survey relating to the prescribing of spectacles for non-strabismic children aged 1 to 5 years was distributed to all delegates at the 2006 Annual Hospital Optometrists Conference.

    Results: A total of 93 of the 149 optometrists returned the survey. The threshold level at which 50% of the respondents would consider prescribing spectacles in non-strabismic children at ages 1, 3 and 5 years were for hyperopia 4.50DS, 3.00DS and 2.50DS, for myopia – 3.00DS, – 1.50DS and –1.00DS, for anisohyperopia 2.00DS, 1.00DS and 1.00DS and for non-oblique astigmatism 2.50DC, 1.50DC and 1.00DC. For hyperopic children in the 3-4 year age group at least two thirds of those recommending spectacles would give a partial correction, with an average reduction of 1.69DS from the cycloplegic refraction.

    Conclusions: Delegates of the Hospital Optometrists Annual Conference recommend spectacles to correct lower levels, on average, of myopia and hyperopia in young children than members of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus or those suggested in the American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Patterns guidelines. However there is broad agreement for the management of astigmatism and anisometropia and the prescription of partial corrections in hyperopic children in the absence of strabismus.

    • Optics and Refraction
    • childhood
    • hyperopia
    • myopia
    • spectacle

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