Independence between age-related changes in refraction, accommodation and convergence in primary school children
Keywords:Development, refraction, accommodation, convergence, children
The parameters which describe how refraction, accommodation and convergence develop during childhood are well understood, but the possible interdependencies between these agerelated changes are not known. Hence it is unknown whether refractive development is associated with development of accommodation and convergence. Four-hundred and fifty-two unselected 7-13 year old school children were subjected to autorefraction and unilateral cover test, and measurement of visual acuity, amplitude of accommodation, monocular accommodation facility, near phoria, near point of convergence, and positive and negative fusional vergence using subjective techniques. Linear regression was used to study the correlation of these parameters with age, followed by study of correlations between age-dependent parameters. There was a significant reduction in hyperopia (0.13 D/year, 95% CI [-0.20, -0.06]), a significant increase in the monocular accommodation facility (0:48 cpm/year, 95% CI [0.18, 0.79]), and a non-significant shift towards convergence of the midpoint of the fusional range (0.43 ΔD/year, 95% CI [0.12, 0.74]) with age. Age-dependent variables were not significantly correlated. Autorefraction was not correlated with any other variable. None of the other parameters showed any significant correlations with age. Age-related changes in refraction, monocular accommodation facility and midpoint of fusional range were independent. This indicates that the development of these parameters involves separate processes, and suggests that therapeutic intervention may be performed on these parameters individually without a derived effect on the other age-related parameters.
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