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High hyperopia constitutes the majority of refractive errors in large scale visual screening at preschool ages. The authors aimed to assess the validity of the Retinomax hand held refractor to detect high hyperopia in a refractive screening performed without cycloplegia and carried out on children aged 9-36 months. They considered +1.5 D of manifest hyperopia to be the threshold value and abnormal absolute hyperopia to be above +3.5 D.Of the 897 children screened without cycloplegia, 220 were refracted with cycloplegia. The validity of several thresholds of manifest hyperopia was estimated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves using cycloplegic measures as a reference. The reproducibility of Retinomax measurements was assessed. Normal and quick mode measurements were compared using the Wilcoxon test.The manifest threshold of +1.5 D offered the best combination of sensitivity (70.2%), specificity (94.6%), positive predictive value (78.6%), and negative predictive value (91.9%) to disclose abnormal absolute hyperopia. A good agreement was obtained between the various measurements using Retinomax on the same subject. In the results of this survey, there is no evidence that accommodation is minimised in the normal mode of measurement compared with the quick mode.The Retinomax hand held infrared autorefractor is a suitable instrument to diagnose abnormal hyperopia (manifest hyperopia >+1.5 D) in non-cycloplegic refractive screening at preschool ages. It is suggested as the quick mode of measurement as it is more feasible in children (success rate 98.5%).