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Jamali, Payman; Fotouhi, Akbar; Hashemi, Hassan; Younesian, Masud; Jafari, Alireza

Refractive Errors and Amblyopia in Children Entering School: Shahrood, Iran

publication date
October 14, 2008
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To determine the prevalence of amblyopia, strabismus, and refractive errors in children entering school.



In this cross-sectional population-based study, 6-year-old children enrolling in Shahrood schools were randomly sampled. Those with organic blindness or mental retardation were excluded. Ocular alignment, visual acuity, stereopsis, cover testing, and cycloplegic refraction were recorded for all children by an optometrist. A diagnosis of amblyopia was based on a best-corrected visual acuity of 6/12 or less in one or both eyes, or a bilateral difference of at least two best-corrected visual acuity lines.



A total of 902 children were invited for optometry examinations, among which 827 (91.7%) responded and 815 children (98.5%) were included in the study. The prevalence of significantly reduced visual acuity (uncorrected VA ≤6/12 in either eye) and amblyopia was 3.6 and 1.7%, respectively. The prevalence of hyperopia (+2.00 D or worse), myopia (−0.50 D or worse), astigmatism (0.75 D or worse), and anisometropia (1.00 D or more) were 20.5, 1.7, 19.6, and 2.2%, respectively. Significant refractive error, defined as hyperopia >+3.50 D, myopia >−3.00 D, astigmatism >1.50 D in the orthogonal meridian or >1.00 D in the oblique meridian, or anisometropia (hyperopic >1.00 D, myopic >3.00 D) was detected in 2.1, 0.1, 5.0, and 0.9% of the sample, respectively. Strabismus was diagnosed in 1.2% of children. Overall, 52 children (6.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.7–8.1%) were at risk of amblyopia; of these, 81% had significant refractive errors, 11% had strabismus, and 8% had both.



A considerable proportion of 6-year-old children have strabismus and/or significant, potentially amblyogenic refractive errors. The relatively high rate of hyperopia and astigmatism in the studied population needs more attention. The results of the study emphasize the need for adequate diagnostic and therapeutic eye care services for preschool children.


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!

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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.

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Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

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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!!!

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