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Adolescent vision care may come up short.

Adolescent vision screenings may miss farsightedness and astigmatism, according to a study in the July Archives of Ophthalmology.

Researchers in Australia randomly selected 21 secondary schools and invited all seventh-grade students to participate in the study. They tested visual acuity of about 4,500 students and found the typical screening was best at detecting nearsightedness but likely missed many cases of farsightedness and astigmatism, a condition in which the main symptom is blurred vision.

"Improved screening methods are required to improve detection of these conditions," the study's authors wrote.

Because many children with farsightedness can "achieve near-normal" on a visual acuity test, some might argue it is not important to detect their condition. Yet the study's authors said previous research has shown children with uncorrected farsightedness may have lower levels of educational attainment.

The visual acuity testing in the current study found 97 percent of all nearsightedness cases but "many children with clinically significant levels of hyperopia and astigmatism would not be referred for treatment." The study's authors also said "further research on detecting these forms of refractive error more reliably during screening is required."

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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Sep 1, 2010
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