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August 1981

Effect of Natural Deprivation and Unilateral Eye Patching on Visual Acuity of Infants and Children: Evoked Potential Measurements

Author Affiliations

From the School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley (Drs Odom and Marg), and the Department of Ophthalmology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco (Dr Hoyt).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1981;99(8):1412-1416. doi:10.1001/archopht.1981.03930020286018

• Evoked potential measurements of visual acuity were made on four children aged from 5 months to 8 years. They were deprived of normal visual stimulation by various disorders: unilateral aphakia from a congenital cataract, vitreous hemorrhage, polar cataract, and esotropia. In the two younger children, aged 5 and 15 months, respectively, the visual acuity improved when the eye had good optical imagery and declined with poor or no imagery. Reversal of the imagery to the contralateral eyes again brought large changes in opposite directions. In the two older children, aged 4 and 8 years, respectively, there were marked decreases in acuity in the patched eye, but little or no change in the unpatched eye. It is not known whether these differences are due to age or to the original kind of visual disorder, such as deprivation, occlusion, or strabismus, or are merely individual differences. It is clear, however, that some children exhibit large changes in acuity in response to visual deprivation or patching, or to its removal, in a readily reversible manner. Also, we have demonstrated that visually evoked potential acuities may be obtained from pediatric, clinical patients without regard to age, which may be useful in management of the conditions.

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