foveal instability and refractive development in a low vision register series
PURPOSE: To evaluate whether effects of early foveal motor instability due to infantile nystagmus might compare to those of experimental visual deprivation on refraction in a childhood series. METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of data from the Danish Register for Blind and Weaksighted Children with infantile nystagmus recorded as prime diagnosis. We perused 90 records of children now aged 10-17 years, some of whom eventually exceeded the register borderline of 0.3 as best-corrected visual acuity. Spherical equivalent refraction was the primary outcome parameter, but visual acuity, astigmatism, and age were further considered. The series comprised 48 children with nystagmus as single diagnosis, whereas 42 had clinical colabels (Down syndrome , dysmaturity , and mental retardation, encephalopathy ). RESULTS: Median binocular visual acuity was 0.3 in the full series, and median refraction was emmetropia in all subgroups. Compared with Danish control data, myopia was over-represented, and generally of juvenile onset. The Down syndrome subgroup was separated from the remainder by an even higher myopia prevalence. Astigmatism above 1 D cylinder value was recorded in 52% of all cases. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of myopia and astigmatism was higher among children with nystagmus than in controls. Myopia was mainly juvenile, and not related to the period of infancy when the motor foveal smear is considered most disturbing and possibly influencing visual development.
European Journal of Ophthalmology, 2014, Vol 24, Issue 4, p. 599-607