Refractive Error and Visual Impairment in School Children in Northern Ireland
The study aims at describing the prevalence of refractive error (myopia and hyperopia) and visual impairment in a representative sample of white school children.
This is a population-based cross-sectional study, examined 661 white 12–13-year-old and 392 white 6–7-year-old children between 2006 and 2008.
This study is the first to provide robust population-based data on the prevalence of refractive error and visual impairment in Northern Irish school children. Strategies to improve compliance with spectacle wear are required.
Levels of myopia were 2.8% in younger and 17.7% in older children: corresponding levels of hyperopia were 26% and 14.7% .
The prevalence of presenting visual impairment in the better eye was 3.6% in 12–13-year-old children compared with 1.5% in 6–7-year-old children. Almost one in four children fails to bring their spectacles to school.