To determine the effect of atropine cycloplegia on the refractive status of children aged 4 to 10 years and to evaluate the necessity of cycloplegia for different refractive states and ages during refractive correction.
This retrospective study included patients with low, moderate, and high myopia and hyperopia who were divided into two groups by age: 4 to 6 years (n = 5,320) and 7 to 10 years (n = 6,475). Every patient underwent cycloplegia with atropine sulphate. Refractive errors were measured by retinoscopy.
Within each group, the differences between cycloplegic and non-cycloplegic refractive errors (DIFF) were significant. DIFF was negatively correlated with age (r = -0.356, P < .001). The differences in refractive error between prescribed glasses and non-cycloplegic refraction (DIFF) were largest in the groups with high myopia (0.83 ± 1.15 diopters [D] in the 4 to 6 years group and 0.60 ± 1.47 D in the 7 to 10 years group). After cycloplegia, 62.5% of the patients with mild myopia became emmetropic or hyperopic in the 4 to 6 years group, and 11.3% of the patients with mild myopia became emmetropic or hyperopic in the 7 to 10 years group.
Without cycloplegia, autorefraction tends to overestimate refractive error in children with myopia. For accurate glasses prescriptions, cycloplegia should be used for children between 4 and 10 years, especially for children with high myopia. [J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2020;57(4):257-263.].
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