Cycloplegic refraction in optometric practice

1 August 2005
Volume 06, Issue 3

Drug mechanisms, instillation techniques and the uses and adverse reactions of common drugs used in cycloplegic refraction.


Although new methods of refraction have been developed over the years, cycloplegic refraction has remained a timetested, reliable and valid procedure for obtaining refraction data. In non-communicative or uncooperative patients, those with functional visual problems or whose visual acuity (VA) cannot be corrected to an expected level, cycloplegia is often essential for an accurate assessment of refractive error. Also, cycloplegia is often necessary in patients with inconsistent responses or symptoms, and in patients with media opacities or aberrations (Amos 2001). Without cycloplegia, determining the refractive status of young patients with accommodative esotropia, pseudomyopia or latent hyperopia would be much more difficult.

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