Authors
Mohammad Al-Bagdady, Ruth E Stewart, Patrick Watts, Paul J Murphy, J Margaret Woodhouse

Bifocals and Down's syndrome: correction or treatment?

publication date
2009 May 11
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Abstract/Introduction

Purpose: Accommodation is reduced in approximately 75% of children with Down's syndrome (DS). Bifocals have been shown to be beneficial and they are currently prescribed regularly. Clinical observations suggest the likelihood of improving accommodative ability after bifocal wear. The aim of the study is to evaluate the potential use of bifocals as a treatment for the reduced accommodation.

Methods: Clinical records of 40 children from the Cardiff Down's Syndrome Vision Research Unit, who were prescribed bifocals, were reviewed. Accommodation was noted before wearing the bifocals and during either their latest visit or when the children stopped using bifocals. Accommodation was reassessed during a follow up visit for the children who stopped wearing bifocals. Development of accommodation before bifocal commencement, age at bifocal prescription, gender, type of refractive error, visual acuity and the presence of strabismus were examined to evaluate their contribution to accommodation improvement.


Conclusion/Results

Results: The accommodative ability of 65% (n = 26) of the children improved (through the distance part of the lens) after using the bifocals. More than half of those developed accurate accommodation without the use of bifocals (n = 14). Accommodative responses did not show any improvement with age before the children began wearing bifocals. Accurate accommodation was sustained after returning to single vision lenses in all examined children. The age distribution of the children on bifocal commencement was diverse. Presence of strabismus, refractive error type, visual acuity and gender did not have any effect on gaining improvement.

Conclusions: Bifocals are an effective correction for the reduced accommodation in children with DS and also act to improve accommodation with a success rate of 65%. Bifocal wear can therefore be temporary, i.e. a 'treatment' for the deficit, in at least one third of children.


Testimonials


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.


Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.


Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!


Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!


Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!


Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!


Alice M.
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