FEB 07, 2011
It is known that the risk of refractive error among children with special needs is higher than that of otherwise healthy children of the same age group. However, for daily activities both visual function and visual acuity should be addressed. To the authors' knowledge, there are no published studies that compare the rate of refractive errors and other visual function defects between children with special needs and healthy children.
In this prospective cohort study, researchers compared the refractive and visual status of 70 children with special needs with that of 175 healthy first graders in Oman. Special needs children had a significantly higher prevalence of uncorrected refractive error (58.5 percent) than healthy children (2.9 percent). Prevalence of hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, strabismus, nystagmus, and defective contrast sensitivity was also significantly higher in children with special needs.
The authors conclude that these children should receive more attention from the National Eye Health care program.