Cycloplegic autorefraction in young adults: is it mandatory?

Michael Mimouni, Lilach Zoller, Josefa Horowitz, Tamara Wygnanski-Jaffe, Yair Morad, Eedy Mezer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The precise correction of refractive error is especially important in young adults. It is unclear whether cycloplegic refraction is necessary in this age group. The purpose of this study was to compare the non-cycloplegic and cycloplegic spherical equivalent (SE) refractive error measured in young adults. Methods: This was a prospective study of 1400 eyes (n = 700) of enlisted soldiers aged 18 to 21 years who were consecutively evaluated in an outpatient army ophthalmology clinic. One drop of cyclopentolate 1 % was installed twice 10 min apart, and cycloplegic refraction was performed in both eyes 40 min later using an auto-refractor. The difference between non-cycloplegic and cycloplegic refractive measurements was analyzed. Results: The mean difference in SE between non-cycloplegic and cycloplegic measurements was 0.68 ± 0.83 D (95 % CI, 0.64–0.72). Significantly greater differences were observed in hypermetropes than myopes (1.30 ± 0.90 D versus 0.46 ± 0.68 D, p < 0.001). Moderate hypermetropes (2 to 5 D) demonstrated significantly greater refractive error than mild (0.5 to 2 D) or severe (>5 D) hypermetropes (1.71 ± 1.18 D versus 1.19 ± 0.74 D and 1.16 ± 1.08 D respectively, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Young hypermetropic adults possessed +1 to +2 D of latent hypermetropia. In contrast, young myopic adults revealed pseudomyopia of −0.5 D. Cycloplegic refraction should be performed in young hypermetropic adults complaining of various signs of asthenopia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-398
Number of pages4
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Adults
  • Cycloplegic
  • Refraction
  • Young


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