Joint AAO/EAOO Symposium
Title: Prescribing for Childhood Hyperopia: Top Tips & Considerations
Susan Cotter, OD, MS, FAAO
Southern California College of Optometry, Marshall B Ketchum University
Kathryn Saunders, PhD, FCOptom
Centre for Optometry and Vision Science Research, School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University
When testing older children and adult patients, optometrists make decisions about the importance of refractive error and the need for spectacle correction based primarily on symptoms and the impact of refractive correction on visual acuity.
These parameters are less helpful when testing infants or young children when the visual system is maturing rapidly and there is a risk for the development of strabismus, amblyopia, and other visual anomalies. The magnitude of refractive error is only one consideration when deciding whether to prescribe a refractive correction and how much to prescribe for young children. Other factors, including age, accommodative function, binocular status (eye alignment and stereopsis), behavioral signs or symptoms, and academic performance, are essential components in the eyecare professional’s decision-making.
In this lecture, we will discuss the ‘why,’ ‘when,’ and ‘how much’ aspects of prescribing for childhood hyperopia and provide evidence-informed ‘top tips’ that we use in our clinical practice. We will review key objective methods for assessing accommodative function in young patients and how these measures inform our decision-making when managing typically developing hyperopic children and those with developmental disabilities. We will include patient cases for discussion.