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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Paediatrics, Ophthalmology

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Clinical and Experimental Optometry

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Clinical Relevance

Reducing the time between drop instillation and refraction reduces the time paediatric patients and young adults spend in practice, facilitating more eye examinations daily.


The current procedure for paediatric cycloplegic refraction is to wait for at least 30-minutes post-instillation of a cycloplegic before measuring spherical equivalent refraction. This study compared cycloplegia at 20- and 30-minutes following 0.5% proxymetacaine and 1.0% cyclopentolate in 12-13-year-olds.


Participants were 99 white 12-13-year-olds. One drop of proxymetacaine hydrochloride (Minims, 0.5% w/v, Bausch & Lomb, UK) followed by one drop of cyclopentolate hydrochloride (Minims, 1.0% w/v, Bausch & Lomb, UK) was instilled into both eyes. Spherical equivalent refraction was measured by autorefraction (Dong Yang Rekto ORK-11 Auto Ref-Keratometer) at 20- and 30-minutes post-instillation. Data were analysed through paired t-testing, correlations, and linear regression analysis.


There was no significant difference in level of cycloplegia achieved at 20- (Mean spherical equivalent refraction (standard deviation) 0.438 (1.404) D) and 30-minutes (0.487 (1.420) D) post-eyedrop instillation (t (98) = 1.667, p = 0.099). The mean spherical equivalent refraction difference between time points was small (0.049 (0.294) D, 95% confidence interval =-0.108 ̶ 0.009D). Agreement indices: Accuracy = 0.999, Precision = 0.973, Concordance = 0.972. Spherical equivalent refraction at 20- and 30-minutes differed by ≤0.50D in 92% of eyes, and by <1.00D in 95%.


There was no clinically significant difference in spherical equivalent refraction or level of cycloplegia at 20- and 30-minutes post-eyedrop instillation. The latent time between drop instillation and measurement of refractive error may be reduced to 20 minutes in White 12-13-year-olds and young adults. Further studies must determine if these results persist in younger children and non-White populations.



Technological University Dublin

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