To assess the prevalence of visual disturbances among school-aged children in prioritized education zones in France.
The PlanVue® pilot project was designed to detect and manage visual disturbances in school-aged children in the prioritized education areas of the city of Nanterre, France. During this pilot study, a cohort of 515 children aged 4 to 13 years underwent a school vision screening between January and March 2019, consisting of an overall evaluation of the child’s visual behavior, measurement of uncorrected visual acuity in each eye, objective refraction with a photoscreener and strabismus screening. If the examination was abnormal as determined by impaired vision or an algorithm based on the abnormalities found, the children were referred to an ophthalmologist.
Decreased visual acuity was found in 20% of school-aged children. Out of the 515 children screened, 22% were referred to an ophthalmologist. Among these children, 13% were diagnosed with amblyopia, 73% with spherical ametropia, 57% with astigmatism and 2% with strabismus. Of the entire population screened, 12% of the children needed optical correction but had not received glasses.
This study confirms the high prevalence of uncorrected refractive errors among school-age children. A screening program carried out in a school environment by paramedical professionals might make it possible to considerably reduce the rate of uncorrected visual disorders and their consequences.