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Visual and refractive status of children with Down's syndrome and nystagmus

Zahidi, Asma A. A., McIlreavy, Lee ORCID:, Erichsen, Jonathan ORCID: and Woodhouse, J. Margaret ORCID: 2022. Visual and refractive status of children with Down's syndrome and nystagmus. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 63 (2) , 28. 10.1167/iovs.63.2.28

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Background/Aims Children with Down’s syndrome (DS) are known to have poorer visual acuity that neurotypical children. One report has shown that children with DS and nystagmus also have poor acuity when compared to typical children with nystagmus. What has not been established, is the extent of any acuity deficit due to nystagmus and whether nystagmus impacts on refractive error is within a population with DS. Methods Clinical records from The Cardiff University Down’s Syndrome Vision Research Unit were examined retrospectively. Binocular visual acuity and refraction data were available for 50 children who had DS and nystagmus (DSN) and 176 children who had DS but no nystagmus. Data were compared between the two groups, and with published data for neurotypical children with nystagmus. Results The study confirms the deficit in acuity in DS, compared to neurotypical children, of approximately 0.2 LogMAR and shows a further deficit attributable to nystagmus of a further 0.2 logMAR beyond the first year of life. Children with DS and no nystagmus appear to have acuity that mirrors that of typical children with nystagmus, while children with both DS and nystagmus have a significant additional impairment. Children with DS have a wide range of refractive errors, but nystagmus increases the likelihood of myopia. Prevalence and axis direction of astigmatism, on the other hand appears unaffected by nystagmus. Conclusion Nystagmus confers an additional visual impairment on children with Down’s syndrome and must be recognised as such by families and educators. Children with both DS and nystagmus clearly need targeted support.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Publisher: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
ISSN: 0146-0404
Funders: Medical Research Council, Down?s Syndrome Association, Mencap City Foundation, National Lotteries Charity Board with Mencap, PPP Healthcare Medical Trust, National Eye Research Centre, College of Optometrists, Action Medical Research and Garfield Weston Foundation, and the Malaysian Government Postgraduate Scholarship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 January 2022
Date of Acceptance: 17 January 2022
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 03:15

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