The measurement of visual acuity in children: an evidence-based update

Clin Exp Optom. 2014 Jan;97(1):3-11. doi: 10.1111/cxo.12086. Epub 2013 Jul 31.


Over the past decade, a number of large clinical trials have provided important information relating to the reliability and repeatability of commonly used paediatric tests of vision and their role in the diagnosis and management of paediatric ocular diseases. The aim of this review is to summarise recent findings on the use of paediatric visual acuity tests in clinical practice and to discuss the validity and accuracy of visual acuity measurements in infants and young children. We provide a broad overview of the benefits and challenges of measuring visual acuity in children and then discuss age-appropriate tests for measuring visual acuity in infants through to school-age children. We also discuss normative values for visual acuity in each age group and, where possible, provide comparisons of results between tests with a particular focus on the importance of optotype design.

Keywords: children's vision; vision screening; visual acuity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Evidence-Based Practice*
  • Humans
  • Optometry / methods*
  • Optometry / standards
  • Optometry / trends
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Vision Tests / methods*
  • Vision Tests / standards
  • Vision Tests / trends
  • Visual Acuity*