Original Research

Stereoacuity and refractive, accommodative and vergence anomalies of South African school children, aged 13–18 years

Sam O. Wajuihian, Rekha Hansraj
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 77, No 1 | a400 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v77i1.400 | © 2018 Sam O. Wajuihian, Rekha Hansraj | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2017 | Published: 19 March 2018

About the author(s)

Sam O. Wajuihian, Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rekha Hansraj, Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Aim: The aim of this study was to explore possible associations between stereoacuity and refractive, accommodative and vergence anomalies.

Methods: The study design was cross-sectional and comprised data from 1056 high school children aged between 13 and 18 years; mean age and standard deviation were 15.89 ± 1.58 years. Using a multi-stage random cluster sampling, participants were selected from 13 high schools out of a sample frame of 60 schools in the municipality concerned. In the final sample, 403 (38%) were males and 653 (62%) females. Refractive errors, heterophoria, near point of convergence, fusional vergences and accommodative functions (amplitude, facility, response and relative) were evaluated. Stereoacuity was evaluated using the Randot stereotest and recorded in seconds of arc where reduced stereoacuity was defined as worse than 40 s arc.

Results: Overall, the mean stereoacuities (in seconds of arc) of the children with anomalies were the following: those with refractive errors (52.6 ± 36.9), with accommodative anomalies (53.1 ± 34.1) and with vergence anomalies (48.29 ± 31.1). The mean stereoacuity of those with vergence anomalies was significantly better than that of those with either refractive errors or accommodative anomalies (p = 0.02). In the refractive error category, only anisometropia had significantly reduced mean stereoacuity compared to emmetropia (Mann–Whitney U: p = 0.01). The mean stereoacuity of cases of accommodative anomalies was significantly reduced compared to those without such anomalies (Mann–Whitney U: p = 0.01). Similarly, the mean stereoacuity of cases with vergence anomalies was significantly reduced compared to those without vergence anomalies (p = 0.02).

Conclusion: Refractive errors, accommodative or vergence anomalies are more likely to have reduced mean stereoacuity than cases without such anomalies. Refractive errors or accommodative anomalies had significantly more reduced stereoacuity than vergence anomalies. These findings suggest that the Randot stereotest could be used to identify those with such anomalies, and this study extends knowledge regarding the possible use of stereoacuity as a useful tool to screen for binocular anomalies.


Stereoacuity; refractive error; accommodative and vergence anomalies; visual functions in high school children


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