Early Signs of Myopia in Chinese Schoolchildren

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We looked for the earliest signs of the onset of myopia in 194 emmetropic (-0.25 to +0.75 D) eyes by following them for 1 to more than 2 years. Visual acuity examination, cycloplegic retinoscopy, and A-scan ultrasonography were performed at intervals of 6 to 12 months. Of the 194 eyes 64 became myopic during the observation time. Our results show that during the progression from emmetropia to myopia the change in visual acuity is not a good indicator of the onset of myopia. When visual acuity decreased to below 6/6 (20/20) cycloplegic retinoscopy showed that most of the 64 eyes had become truly myopic and A-scan ultrasonography revealed a significant increase in vitreous chamber depth and axial length as compared to the nonmyopic eyes. In the early stage of myopia development the anteroposterior diameter of the eye elongates. However, changes in anterior chamber depth and lens thickness did not differ between the myopic and nonmyopic group. Our results suggest that routine ocular refraction should be conducted in addition to the school vision screening. For those who have visual acuity 6/6 (20/20) and ametropia of -0.25 0 or more minus we would like to be able to prevent or at least retard the development of myopia.

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