Impaired visual acuity caused by uncorrected refractive errors and amblyopia in a German paediatric cohort

This study investigated visual impairment due to uncorrected distance refractive errors and spectacle coverage in a large group of German children and adolescents, along with the prevalence of amblyopia and its treatment. The study included 1,874 participants aged 3 to 16 years. The findings revealed that 0.5% of children had visual impairment due to uncorrected or inadequately corrected refractive errors, with a higher prevalence associated with older age. The study also found that 1.5% of participants had amblyopia, with anisometropia and strabismus being common causes. Spectacle coverage among children who needed them was 74.8%, with some children not wearing their spectacles, possibly due to incorrect prescriptions or lack of awareness. The study suggested that the effectiveness of screening for amblyopia in Germany could be improved, with 20.7% of children with amblyopia not being detected through medical check-ups. Overall, the study highlights the importance of regular eye examinations, particularly using modern auto- or photo-refraction methods, to detect and address visual issues in children. It also suggests the need for better education of parents and teachers regarding the prevalence of vision problems in children.

Publication date

October 26, 2020


Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics

Sponsor Institution

LIFE Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, Leipzig University, European Union, European Regional Development Fund, Free State of Saxony, Projekt DEAL


Manuela Brandt, Carolin Truckenbrod, Christof Meigen, Mandy Vogel, Tanja Poulain, Wieland Kiess, Siegfried Wahl
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