Adolescent eye tests may miss conditions such as farsightedness or astigmatism, according to a new study.
Research carried out by University of Sydney Cumberland Campus, Lidcombe, Australia suggests that, among adolescents, visual acuity tests appear to reliably detect vision problems caused by nearsightedness but not hyperopia or astigmatism.
Experts assessed 2,353 students aged an average of 12.7 years at 21 secondary schools in Sydney in which uncorrected visual acuity was measured in one eye at a time using a logMAR chart, an eye chart with rows of letters.
"The results showed that many children with clinically significant levels of hyperopia and astigmatism would not be referred for treatment," the authors claimed.
"On occasion, even children with very high levels of hyperopia achieved near-normal levels of visual acuity. If these visual acuity values were used to identify children with hyperopic and astigmatic refractive errors, the level of over-referral would unacceptably high," the experts stated.
by Alexa Kaczka