Original Research

Interpupillary distance measurements for the African population of Polokwane in Limpopo province, South Africa

Vutlhari C. Mhaleni, Maserebane B. Maponya, Lebohang N.D. Ramakatsa, Lerato Mahlakwana, Solani D. Mathebula
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 80, No 1 | a582 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v80i1.582 | © 2021 Solani D. Mathebula | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 June 2020 | Published: 24 March 2021

About the author(s)

Vutlhari C. Mhaleni, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Mankweng, South Africa
Maserebane B. Maponya, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Mankweng, South Africa
Lebohang N.D. Ramakatsa, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Mankweng, South Africa
Lerato Mahlakwana, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Mankweng, South Africa
Solani D. Mathebula, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Mankweng, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Interpupillary distance (IPD) measurements are crucial as IPD needs to be considered before frame selection. The correct positioning of lenses before the eyes is very important to eliminate potentially undesirable prismatic effects from the lenses.

Aim: To investigate and report baseline or preliminary values and variations of IPD measurements amongst black South Africans.

Setting: The study was conducted in a privately owned optometric practice in Polokwane, Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Methods: This was a retrospective study conducted from 386 randomly selected record cards of patients seen in a private optometric practice. The record cards were selected randomly from patients who were examined by a single optometrist from 2017 to 2019. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for analysis.

Results: The study sample comprised of 386 participants, of which 214 and 172 were females and males, respectively. The mean IPD measurements were 67.2 millimetres (mm) ± 3 mm and 64.2 mm ± 3 mm for distance and near measurements, respectively.

Conclusion: The study provides preliminary or baseline IPD for black South Africans that can be used by the optical industry. The vast majority of adult IPD lie within the range 63 mm to 76 mm. This study also established that there is a significant difference between distance and near IPD. On average, the near IPD is approximately 3 mm less than distant IPD. Knowledge of mean IPD is important in the design of optical devices and for the production of spectacle frames and lenses.


Keywords

interpupillary distance; African interpupillary distance; pupillometry; ocular anthropometry; inter-ocular anatomy

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