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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 114-119

Assessment of the effect of academic examination stress on binocular vision functions among secondary school-aged children


Department of Binocular Vision, Faculty of Optometry and Visual Sciences, Alneelain University, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amani Ahmed Elsiddig
Department of Binocular Vision, Faculty of Optometry and Visual Sciences, Alneelain University, Khartoum
Sudan
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DOI: 10.4103/bijo.bijo_16_18

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Background: Binocular single vision involves the simultaneous use of both eyes with bifoveal fixation, and this process helps individuals to use their both eyes for reading, writing, and other near activities; the stress on this system could lead to ocular complaints and affect the near task for the school-aged children. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of academic examination stress on binocular vision functions among secondary school-aged children in Khartoum State of Sudan. Materials and Methods: This is an experimental study of 148 secondary school-aged children, selected randomly from Alfath Secondary School, and their ages ranged from 13 to 17 years with a mean age of 14.6 ± 1.13 years. Investigation was performed before and after the academic examinations in 2017. The clinical examinations include visual acuity measurements using Snellen vision testing chart, refraction using autorefractometer, dissociated near phoria by Maddox Wing, associated near phoria by Mallet Fixation Disparity Test, amplitude of accommodation and near point of convergence (NPC) measured by R.A.F rule, and near positive fusional vergence (PFV) and near negative fusional vergence by prism bar. All these investigations were done before 15 days of academic examinations and on the day after the students finished their academic examinations. Results: The findings indicated that most of the students (62.8%) before the academic examinations reported that they were free from any ocular complaints, whereas 37.2% had ocular symptoms. After stress due to examinations, the percentage of students who had ocular complaints increased to 71.6, whereas those free of ocular complaints decreased to 28.4. The mean of amplitude of accommodation before taken the examinations was 9.81 ± 2.16, and after the examination, the mean of amplitude of accommodation decreased to 8.77 ± 1.97 (P < 0.001). Nearly 54.7% of the participants had normal NPC before the academic examinations, and after the examinations, those who had normal NPC decreased to 46.4% (P < 0.001). Only 29% of the students had associated heterophoria before the stress of examinations, and after the examinations, the percentage of students with associated heterophoria increased to 56.5 (P < 0.001). Almost 40.5% of the students presented with normal PFV at near fixation, and after the stress, only 29.1% had normal PFV at near fixation. However, more than half of the students (59.5%) had weak PFV for near fixation before the examinations, and after the examination, they increased to 70.9% (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The academic examination stress had a major effect on binocular vision functions, result in decompensated heterophoria, as well as decline in amplitude of accommodation, and NPC. Thus, comprehensive eye examination including binocular vision function assessment should be made annual for school-aged children.


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