Children with Down syndrome benefit from bifocals as evidenced by increased compliance with spectacle wear

Rohit Adyanthaya, Sheena Isenor, Brinda Muthusamy, Kristina Irsch, David L. Guyton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: In our experience, children with Down syndrome were noncompliant with spectacle wear, often attributed to their inability to appreciate benefit from the glasses. Studies show that up to 80% of children with Down syndrome have reduced accommodation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the use of bifocals increased compliance with spectacle wear.

METHODS: A retrospective review of medical records from 1983 to 2007 identified 86 children with Down syndrome who were prescribed either bifocal or single vision spectacles. Compliance with spectacle wear was assessed by telephone and was available for 57 children: 27 with bifocals and 30 with single-vision spectacles. Accommodative ability had been assessed by dynamic retinoscopy in 39 of these children.

RESULTS: In the 27 bifocal children, all had poor accommodation on dynamic retinoscopy. Of these 27 children, 24 were compliant with spectacle wear (89%), whereas only 15 of the 30 single-vision spectacle children were compliant (50%). Of the 30 single-vision spectacle children, 18 had not had dynamic retinoscopy, and accommodative ability was thus unknown. Of the 12 who had undergone dynamic retinoscopy, 5 showed poor accommodation. The remaining 7 had good accommodation but showed compliance of only 43% in wearing single-vision glasses. The association between type of spectacle prescribed and compliance with wear was statistically significant by≤chi;2 testing (P = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS: In our study cohort, the addition of bifocal segments improved compliance with spectacle wear in children with Down syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-484
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology


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