Visual acuity percentile curves in a Spanish paediatric population

J Optom. 2022 Jan-Mar;15(1):69-77. doi: 10.1016/j.optom.2021.01.001. Epub 2021 Feb 24.


Purpose: The main objective of this study is to obtain percentile curves of monocular and binocular visual acuity on a decimal scale in a Spanish population aged between 3 and 12 years old.

Materials and method: Descriptive, observational and transversal study which included children between 3 and 12 years old without any known eye and/or systemic diseases. The selection of the sample was made by means of a convenience sampling method carried out in three schools and a hospital of the Community of Madrid. Far monocular and binocular visual acuity was measured using the Bueno Matilla vision unit on a decimal scale, both for monocular and binocular tests. The test used was the symmetrical letters test included with this unit. A descriptive statistic was performed and the visual acuity percentile values obtained were 5, 10, 25, 50, 75, 90 and 95.

Results: The visual acuity of 1300 children was evaluated and analysed. In all the percentile curves obtained, an increase in age-related visual acuity has been observed, reaching a value close to the unit for the 50th percentile, around five years and three months of age, under monocular conditions and somewhat earlier in binocular conditions.

Conclusion: Although the type of sampling performed does not allow a generalization to the entire population, these percentile curves may help the paediatric professional to decide the referral of the relevant child to the eyecare professional, so that certain conditions, like amblyopia or the early stages of school myopia may be early detected.

Keywords: Children's optometry; Paediatric optometry; Percentile; Visual acuity.

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia* / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Myopia*
  • Vision, Binocular
  • Vision, Monocular
  • Vision, Ocular
  • Visual Acuity