A new study by researchers at the University of Houston College of Optometry has found variation in the results of autorefractor testing is almost three times greater in patients with Down syndrome compared to a matched control group, raising concern that some people with Down syndrome might not receive the best possible prescription to correct their vision.
Researchers reportedly performed three automated measurements of refractive error in 139 patients with Down syndrome and in a matched control group, with ages ranging from children to middle-aged adults. While the study reportedly found greater refractive abnormalities in those with Down syndrome, which had been expected, they also found the results of repeated autorefractor testing were more variable in the Down syndrome group. On average, variation was reportedly nearly three times greater in people with Down syndrome, compared to the control group.
According to researchers, although the study could not determine the reasons for the increased variability, they believe it was due likely due to greater difficulty participating in the autorefractor testing procedure and more complex, "higher-powered" optical aberrations of the eye.
To help minimize variability and ensure patients receive the best possible vision prescription, the researchers suggest eye care practitioners use multiple methods to measure vision abnormality, including both objective and subjective, and corroborate the results across techniques.
The study was recently published in Optometry and Vision Science, the official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.
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Source: Wolters Kluwer Health