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The importance of contrast sensitivity testing in children

Authors:

Ashli F. Milling ,

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport; Directorate of Orthoptics and Vision Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool
About Ashli F.
MRes BSc (Hons)
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Anna R. O’connor,

Directorate of Orthoptics and Vision Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool
About Anna R.
PhD BMedSci (Hons)
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David Newsham

Directorate of Orthoptics and Vision Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool
About David
PhD MSc DBO
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Abstract

Aim: To discuss the information contrast sensitivity (CS) testing can provide over visual acuity testing, and review the literature relating to CS deficits in children to determine whether there is an optimum test available.

Methods: A literature search of databases available through the University of Liverpool library was performed. All searches related to the importance of CS in children, paediatric conditions affecting CS and current clinical tests available for the assessment of CS.

Results: Many paediatric conditions exist where CS is defective, often despite ‘normal’ visual acuity (VA): for example, optic pathway gliomas, myopia and primary congenital glaucoma. The finding of a loss of CS has been found to be more prominent and disturbing to an individual than a loss of VA, emphasising the importance of CS assessments in children. Therefore, the clinical assessment of CS in children is valuable in terms of strategies to support the child and establishing the individual’s functional level of vision. Unfortunately, current paediatric clinical tests of CS have failed to demonstrate the same standards and repeatability and reliability as adult tests for the assessment of CS.

Conclusions: The range of functional deficits that accompany paediatric ocular disease require more assessments for full evaluation of visual function than standard VA tests. However, reliable assessments for paediatric CS are limited. A new paediatric CS test may be of clinical value.

 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22599/bioj.79
How to Cite: Milling, A.F., O’connor, A.R. and Newsham, D., 2014. The importance of contrast sensitivity testing in children. British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, 11, pp.9–14. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22599/bioj.79
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Published on 01 Aug 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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