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Eye Tests Predict Preterm Children's Vision Problems

Retinoscopy at age 2.5 years may detect persistent astigmatism and anisometropia

MONDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In preterm children, retinoscopy performed around age 2.5 years may help detect astigmatism and anisometropia that persists through childhood, according to the results of a study published in the November issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Eva K. Larsson, M.D., Ph.D., of Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues performed retinoscopies in 198 preterm children at ages 6 months, 2.5 years and 10 years.

The researchers found that retinoscopy findings at age 6 months did not predict astigmatism and anisometropia at age 10. But they found that refraction at age 2.5 was predictive. Their multiple regression analyses showed that astigmatism of one diopter or more at age 2.5 and cryotreated severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) were risk factors for astigmatism at age 10, and that anisometropia of two diopters or more at age 2.5 was a risk factor for anisometropia at age 10.

"Recommendations for follow-up examinations must include all aspects of visual function, i.e. visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and visual fields, as well as the refraction, strabismus and perceptual problems," the authors conclude. "All preterm children should be included in such follow-up examinations for refractive error, irrespective of the ROP stage."

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