Researchers have determined the percentile curves of refractive errors in children from Spain between the ages of 3 and 12 years, according to research published in the Journal of Optometry. These curves indicate that the rate of myopia is gradually increasing, according to the report.
The investigators analyzed a total of 688 children (mean age, 7.68 years; 50.7% boys) who did not have any known ocular or systemic diseases. They measured refractive error using an autorefractor and calculated the 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th and 95th percentiles using statistical software.
According to the report, spherical equivalent (SE) values began to turn myopic at 3 years (SE < 0.50 diopters [D]) in the 50th percentile, and the 75th percentile curve became myopic at 4 years. Overall, SE value became more negative as age increased, starting from the ages of 3 to 4 years. At 11 years, the 90th percentile curve was negative.
“The percentile curves obtained in this study show the distribution of the refractive error by age, clearly showing that the prevalence of myopia is gradually increasing,” according to the researchers. “These curves may serve as the basis for detecting children with refractive impairments at an early age.”
Study limitations include the use of convenience sampling and non cycloplegic refraction.
Martínez-Pérez C, Pérez-Sánchez B, Villa-Collar C. Percentile curves of refractive errors in a Spanish paediatric population. J Optom. Published online September 29, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.optom.2022.08.005