Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of myopia and hyperopia in a population of Polish schoolchildren.
Methods: A total of 4422 students were examined (2107 boys and 2315 girls, aged 6-18 years, mean age 11.1, S.D. 3.5). The examination included retinoscopy under cycloplegia induced with 1% tropicamide. Myopia was defined as a spherical equivalent (SE) of at least -0.5 dioptres (D), and hyperopia as a SE of at least +1.0 D. Data analysis was performed using Spearman's rank correlation coefficients and chi-squared test; p-values of <0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results: It was observed that 13.3% of Polish students in the age group ranging from 6 to 18 years were myopic while 13.1% of students were hyperopic. Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between the prevalence of myopia and age (p < 0.001) and a negative correlation between prevalence of hyperopia and age (p < 0.001). It was observed that the prevalence of myopia increases substantially between 7 and 8 years of age (p < 0.01). Moreover, it was determined that with age the average refractive error among schoolchildren becomes more myopic (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The occurrence, degree and progress of myopia and hyperopia in Poland is similar to that in other European countries with a predominantly Caucasian population.