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Concept: Eye examination


The Mallett Unit is a clinical test designed to detect the fixation disparity that is most likely to occur in the presence of a decompensated heterophoria. It measures the associated phoria, which is the “aligning prism” needed to nullify the subjective disparity. The technique has gained widespread acceptance within professions such as optometry, for investigating suspected cases of decompensating heterophoria; it is, however, rarely used by orthoptists and ophthalmologists. The aim of this study was to investigate whether fusional vergence reserves, measured routinely by both orthoptists and ophthalmologists to detect heterophoria decompensation, were correlated with aligning prism (associated phoria) in a normal clinical population.

Concepts: Heart failure, Measurement, Eye, Test method, Eye examination, Decompensation, Heterophoria, Fusional vergence


Sight-threatening eye diseases such as strabismus (misaligned eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye) develop during childhood. The earlier in life these diseases are diagnosed and effectively treated, the greater the chance of preventing irreversible long-term sight loss. Using 2001-14 claims data for nearly 900,000 US children with health insurance, we followed a cohort for up to fourteen years from birth, to assess whether household net worth affected rates of visits to ophthalmologists and optometrists or rates of diagnoses of strabismus and amblyopia. We found considerably lower use of eye care services among children in less affluent families than among those in more affluent ones, resulting in estimates of nearly 13,000 missed strabismus diagnoses and over 5,000 missed amblyopia diagnoses in a ten-year period. Despite ongoing efforts to improve screening rates for serious childhood ocular disorders, more attention should be directed to overcoming economic barriers that keep children from obtaining necessary eye care services.

Concepts: Eye, Visual perception, Ophthalmology, Depth perception, Amblyopia, Eye examination, Binocular vision, Optometry


The majority of individuals with Down syndrome (DS) do not exhibit accurate accommodation, with the aetiology of this deficit unknown. This study examines the mechanism underlying hypoaccommodation in DS by simultaneously investigating the ‘near triad’ - accommodation, vergence and pupillary response. An objective photorefraction system measured accommodation, pupil size and gaze position (vergence) under binocular conditions while participants viewed an animated movie at 50, 33, 25 and 20 cm. Participants were aged 6-16 years (DS = 41, controls = 76). Measures were obtained from 59% of participants with DS and 99% of controls. Accommodative response was significantly less in DS (p < 0.001) and greater accommodative deficits were associated with worsening visual acuity (p = 0.02). Vergence responses were as accurate in DS as in controls (p = 0.90). Habitual pupil diameter did not differ between groups (p = 0.24) but reduced significantly with increasing accommodative demand in both participants with and without DS (p < 0.0001). This study is the first to report simultaneous binocular measurement of the near triad in DS demonstrating that hypoaccommodation is linked to poor visual acuity. Vergence responses were accurate indicating that hypoaccommodation cannot be dismissed as a failure to visually engage with near targets, but rather is a consequence of underlying neurological or physiological deficits.

Concepts: Measurement, Eye, Visual acuity, Ophthalmology, Down syndrome, Eye examination, Visual impairment, Pupil


To explore views of all stakeholders (patients, optometrists, general practitioners (GPs), commissioners and ophthalmologists) regarding the operation of community-based enhanced optometric services.

Concepts: Visual perception, Ophthalmology, General practitioner, Eye examination, Optometry


The Portable Eye Examination Kit (Peek) is a mobile phone-based ophthalmic testing system that has been developed to perform comprehensive eye examinations. Shortages in ophthalmic personnel, the high cost, and the difficulty in transporting equipment have made it challenging to offer services, particularly in rural areas. Peek offers a solution for overcoming barriers of limited access to traditional ophthalmic testing methods and has been pilot tested on adults in Nakuru, Kenya, and compared with traditional eye examination tools.

Concepts: Qualitative research, Ophthalmology, Rural area, Eye examination, Mobile phone, Examination, Comprehensive examination, Tool


Choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) is a common vision-threatening complication of myopia and pathological myopia. Despite significant advances in understanding the epidemiology, pathogenesis and natural history of myopic CNV, there is no standard definition of myopic CNV and its relationship to axial length and other myopic degenerative changes. Several treatments are available to ophthalmologists, but with the advent of new therapies there is a need for further consensus and clinical management recommendations. Verteporfin photodynamic therapy has been an established treatment for subfoveal myopic CNV for many years, but this treatment does not restore visual acuity and is associated with long-term chorioretinal atrophy. More recently, clinical trials investigating the efficacy and safety of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents in patients with myopic CNV have demonstrated substantial visual acuity gains and quality of life increases compared with photodynamic therapy. These enhanced outcomes provide updated evidence-based clinical management guidelines of myopic CNV, and increase the need for a generally accepted definition for myopic CNV. This review critically summarises the latest myopic CNV literature in the context of clinical experience and recommends a myopic CNV treatment algorithm.

Concepts: Medicine, Visual acuity, Myopia, Refractive surgery, Eyeglass prescription, Contact lens, Eye examination, Refractive error


Determination of the mechanisms by which visual loss increases mortality risk is important for developing interventional strategies.

Concepts: Visual acuity, Ophthalmology, Eye examination, Cataract


Officiating in football depends, at least to some extent, upon adequate visual function. However, there is no vision standard for football officiating and the nature of the relationship between officiating performance and level of vision is unknown. As a first step in characterising this relationship, we report on the clinically-measured vision and on the perceived level of vision in elite-level, Portuguese football officials. Seventy-one referees ® and assistant referees (AR) participated in the study, representing 92% of the total population of elite level football officials in Portugal in the 2013/2014 season. Nine of the 22 Rs (40.9%) and ten of the 49 ARs (20.4%) were international-level. Information about visual history was also gathered. Perceived vision was assessed using the preference-values-assigned-to-global-visual-status (PVVS) and the Quality-of-Vision (QoV) questionnaire. Standard clinical vision measures (including visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and stereopsis) were gathered in a subset (n = 44, 62%) of the participants. Data were analysed according to the type (R/AR) and level (international/national) of official, and Bonferroni corrections were applied to reduce the risk of type I errors. Adopting criterion for statistical significance of p<0.01, PVVS scores did not differ between R and AR (p = 0.88), or between national- and international-level officials (p = 0.66). Similarly, QoV scores did not differ between R and AR in frequency (p = 0.50), severity (p = 0.71) or bothersomeness (p = 0.81) of symptoms, or between international-level vs national-level officials for frequency (p = 0.03) or bothersomeness (p = 0.07) of symptoms. However, international-level officials reported less severe symptoms than their national-level counterparts (p<0.01). Overall, 18.3% of officials had either never had an eye examination or if they had, it was more than 3 years previously. Regarding refractive correction, 4.2% had undergone refractive surgery and 23.9% wear contact lenses when officiating. Clinical vision measures in the football officials were similar to published normative values for young, adult populations and similar between R and AR. Clinically-measured vision did not differ according to officiating level. Visual acuity measured with and without a pinhole disc indicated that around one quarter of participants may be capable of better vision when officiating, as evidenced by better acuity (≥1 line of letters) using the pinhole. Amongst the clinical visual tests we used, we did not find evidence for above-average performance in elite-level football officials. Although the impact of uncorrected mild to moderate refractive error upon officiating performance is unknown, with a greater uptake of eye examinations, visual acuity may be improved in around a quarter of officials.

Concepts: Type I and type II errors, Eye, Visual acuity, Ophthalmology, Myopia, Eye examination, Book of Optics, Refractive error


Diseases involving the macula and posterior pole are leading causes of visual impairment and blindness worldwide and may require prompt ophthalmological care. However, access to eye-care and timely patient management may be limited due to inefficient and inappropriate referrals between primary eye-care providers and ophthalmology. Optometrists with a special interest in macular disease may be useful as a community aid to better stratify and recommend best-practice management plans for suitable patients. This study assesses such a notion by appraising the optometric referral patterns of patients with suspected macular disease to an intermediate-tier optometric imaging clinic.

Concepts: Medicine, Visual perception, Ophthalmology, Eye examination, Optometry


Purpose To determine the incidence of ophthalmologic disorders in children with autism and related disorders. Design Retrospective chart review. Four hundred and seven children diagnosed with autism or a related disorder between 1998 and 2006. one hundred and fifty-four of these children completed a comprehensive ophthalmology exam by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Results Ophthalmologic pathology was found in 40% of patients with autism or a related disorder with 29% having significant refractive errors, 21% demonstrating strabismus, and 10% having amblyopia. Conclusions Children with autism or a related disorder will frequently have an ophthalmologic abnormality. Since cooperation with vision screening is understandably limited in these children, a comprehensive eye examination by a pediatric ophthalmologist is recommended for all such children.

Concepts: Visual acuity, Ophthalmology, Medical school, Strabismus, Eye examination, Eye surgery, Optometry, Pediatric ophthalmology