A Randomized Clinical Trial of Immediate Versus Delayed Glasses for Moderate Hyperopia in Children 3 to 5 Years of Age

Am J Ophthalmol. 2019 Dec;208:145-159. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2019.06.021. Epub 2019 Jun 28.


Purpose: To compare visual acuity (VA) and binocularity outcomes in moderately hyperopic children with normal VA and binocularity assigned to glasses versus observation.

Design: Prospective randomized clinical trial (RCT).

Methods: One hundred nineteen 3- to 5-year-old children with hyperopia between +3.00D and +6.00D spherical equivalent were randomly assigned to glasses versus observation (with glasses prescribed if deteriorated for subnormal distance VA or near stereoacuity, or manifest strabismus). Follow-up occurred every 6 months. At 3 years, the treatment strategy was classified as "failed" if any of the following were met, both with and without correction: subnormal distance VA or stereoacuity; manifest strabismus; or strabismus surgery during follow-up.

Results: Of 84 (71%) children who completed the primary outcome examination, failure occurred in five (12%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4%-26%) of 41 assigned to glasses and four (9%; 95% CI: 3%-22%) of 43 assigned to observation (difference = 3%; 95% CI: -12%-18%; P = .72). Deterioration prior to 3 years (requiring glasses per protocol) occurred in 29% (95% CI: 19%-43%) assigned to glasses and 27% (95% CI: 17%-42%) assigned to observation.

Conclusions: In an RCT comparing glasses to observation for moderately hyperopic 3- to 5-year-old children with normal VA and binocularity, failure for VA or binocularity was not common. With insufficient enrollment and retention, our study was unable to determine whether immediate glasses prescription reduces failure rate, but low failure rates suggest that immediate glasses prescription for these children may not be needed to prevent failure for VA and/or binocularity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Depth Perception / physiology
  • Eyeglasses*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperopia / physiopathology
  • Hyperopia / therapy*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Strabismus / physiopathology
  • Time-to-Treatment*
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology