Bifocals Fail to Improve Stereopsis Outcomes in High AC/A Accommodative Esotropia.


Whitman MC, MacNeill K, Hunter DG. Bifocals Fail to Improve Stereopsis Outcomes in High AC/A Accommodative Esotropia. Ophthalmology 2016;123(4):690-6.

Date Published:

2016 Apr


PURPOSE: To assess whether stereopsis outcomes of patients with accommodative esotropia with high accommodative convergence/accommodation relationship (AC/A) were improved after treatment with bifocal glasses compared with single-vision lenses. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with high AC/A accommodative esotropia; evidence of stereopsis, binocularity (on Worth 4-dot testing), or improvement in near angle with +3.00 D lenses; and at least 4 years of records available for review, who were seen in the Department of Ophthalmology at Boston Children's Hospital between 2006 and 2014. METHODS: Use of bifocal or single-vision glasses. Charts were reviewed retrospectively. Stereopsis was log transformed for statistical analysis. Linear (for stereopsis) or logistic (for surgery) regression was used to control for confounders. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Stereopsis at final follow-up, difference in stereopsis between final and initial visits, and progression to strabismus surgery. Secondary outcomes included final near and distance deviations. RESULTS: Of the 180 patients who met inclusion criteria, 77 used bifocals and 103 used single-vision lenses. Bifocals did not improve stereopsis outcomes compared with single-vision lenses. In both groups, stereopsis was similar at the initial and final visits, with similar improvement in both groups. Children in the bifocal group had a 3.6-fold higher rate of strabismus surgery than children in the single-lens group (P = 0.04.) Additionally, children in the bifocal group had near deviations 4 PD larger than those with single lenses at final follow-up, even after controlling for age and initial deviation (P = 0.02). These results did not change if surgical patients were eliminated or in the subgroup with initial distance deviation of 0 PD in full hyperopic correction. CONCLUSIONS: Despite their widespread use, there is no evidence that bifocals improve outcomes in children with accommodative esotropia with high AC/A. In our retrospective review, children with bifocals had higher surgical rates and a smaller improvement in near deviation over time. Although our results suggest that eliminating bifocals could reduce the cost and complexity of care while potentially improving quality, prospective, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine whether a change in practice is warranted.

Last updated on 04/19/2016