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Distribution of Refractive Errors Among Healthy Infants and Young Children Between the Age of 6 to 36 Months in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-A Pilot Study


Distribution of Refractive Errors Among Healthy Infants and Young Children Between the Age of 6 to 36 Months in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-A Pilot Study

Arifah Nur Yahya et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health.


Uncorrected refractive error, especially myopia, in young children can cause permanent visual impairment in later life. However, data on the normative development of refractive error in this age group is limited, especially in Malaysia. The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of refractive error in a sample of infants and young children between the ages of 6 to 36 months in a prospective, cross-sectional study. Cycloplegic retinoscopy was conducted on both eyes of 151 children of mean age 18.09 ± 7.95 months. Mean spherical equivalent refractive error for the right and left eyes was +0.85 ± 0.97D and +0.86 ± 0.98D, respectively. The highest prevalence of refractive error was astigmatism (26%), followed by hyperopia (12.7%), myopia (1.3%) and anisometropia (0.7%). There was a reduction of hyperopic refractive error with increasing age. Myopia was seen to emerge at age 24 months. In conclusion, the prevalence of astigmatism and hyperopia in infants and young children was high, but that of myopia and anisometropia was low. There was a significant reduction in hyperopic refractive error towards emmetropia with increasing age. It is recommended that vision screening be conducted early to correct significant refractive error that may cause disruption to clear vision.

Keywords: infants; refractive error; young children.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Change of mean spherical equivalent with age of different studies reported by Mayer et al. (2001) [20], STAR Study (Dirani et al. 2001) [4], BPEDS: Baltimore Pediatric Eye Disease Study (2009); MEPEDS: Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study (2010). AA: African American; W: White; H: Hispanic.

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