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Wednesday / July 17.
HomeminewsUndetected Vision Conditions for Remote Children

Undetected Vision Conditions for Remote Children

A Queensland study has found up to one in three children in a remote Australian community – most of them Indigenous – had a vision condition, with many of these conditions being undetected and uncorrected.

The rate is significantly higher than one in five, often quoted as the rate of undetected vision problems in Australian children.

… vision conditions were detected in 32% of children

Study authors say the finding highlights the need for additional resources to be made available to very remote communities for the detection and correction of childhood vision conditions.

The study, ‘Prevalance of vision conditions in children in a very remote Australian community’, was published in Clinical and Experimental Optometry.

Researchers provided comprehensive eye examinations to 193 primary school children in a very remote Australian region.

Ninety-eight per cent of children identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. The eye examination included measures of visual acuity, cycloplegic autorefraction, binocular vision and accommodative function, ocular health and colour vision. Parents were asked about the children’s previous history of eye examinations and refractive correction.

Although the average unaided vision in the population was good and the prevalence of reduced unaided visual acuity was low (4%), vision conditions were detected in 32% of children.

The most common conditions were clinically significant refractive errors (18% of children) and binocular vision or accommodative disorders (16%). Of the total population of children tested, 10% had previously had an eye examination, and 2% were reported to have previously been prescribed spectacles.

The study received funding support from CheckUP, One Sight and the QUT Health-Law Research Fund.