Aims To describe the prevalence of refractive error (myopia and hyperopia) and visual impairment in a representative sample of white school children. Methods The Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction study, a population-based cross-sectional study, examined 661 white 12e13-year-old and 392 white 6-7-year-old children between 2006 and 2008. Procedures included assessment of monocular logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR), visual acuity (unaided and presenting) and binocular open-field cycloplegic (1% cyclopentolate) autorefraction. Myopiawas defined as -0.50DS or more myopic spherical equivalent refraction (SER) in either eye, hyperopia as >=+2.00DS SER in either eye if not previously classified as myopic. Visual impairment was defined as >0.30 logMAR units (equivalent to 6/12).Results Levels of myopia were 2.8% (95% CI 1.3% to 4.3%) in younger and 17.7% (95% CI 13.2% to 22.2%) in older children: corresponding levels of hyperopia were 26% (95% CI 20% to 33%) and 14.7% (95% CI 9.9% to 19.4%). The prevalence of presenting visual impairment in the better eye was 3.6% in 12-13-year-old children compared with 1.5% in 6-7-year-old children. Almost one in four children fails to bring their spectacles toschool.Conclusions This study is the first to provide robust population-based data on the prevalence of refractive error and visual impairment in Northern Irish schoolchildren. Strategies to improve compliance with spectacle wear are required.
O'Donoghue, L., McClelland, JF., Logan, NS., Rudnicka, AR., Owen, CG., & Saunders, KJ. (2010). Refractive error and visual impairment in school children in Northern Ireland. BRITISH JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY, 94(9), 1155-1159. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjo.2009.176040