Astigmatism and the development of myopia in children

Vision Res. 2000;40(8):1019-26. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(99)00237-0.


While it is now established that astigmatism is more prevalent in infants and young children than in the adult population, little is known about the functional significance of this astigmatism, especially its role, if any, in emmetropization and the development of myopia. Manifest refractions (mean of 16 per subject) were obtained from 245 subjects starting in the first year, with 6-23 years of regular follow-up. Results showed that infantile astigmatism is associated with increased astigmatism and myopia during the school years. Two possible mechanisms underlying this association are discussed: (1) infantile astigmatism disrupts focusing mechanisms; and (2) ocular growth induces astigmatism and myopia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aging / physiology
  • Astigmatism / complications*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eye / growth & development
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Myopia / etiology*
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology