Purpose. To identify longitudinal changes in fusional vergence ranges and their relationship to other clinical measures in young myopic subjects.
Methods. Measurements were collected annually for 10 years on 114 subjects from the University of Houston Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial cohort. Subject age was 7 to 13 years at year 1 of follow-up. Measurements included refractive error, distance and near phoria, interpupillary distance (IPD), prism bar fusional vergence ranges, and nearpoint of convergence (NPC). Multilevel modeling was used to determine baseline and rate of change for fusional vergence ranges and the impact of phoria, IPD, and NPC on these measures.
Results. Year 1 mean distance base-out (BO) break was 20 prism diopters (pd) and decreased 5.6 pd over 10 years (p < 0.001). Mean near BO break was 30 pd at year 1 and decreased 9.4 pd over 10 years (p < 0.001). Greater esophoria was significantly related to greater BO break (p < 0.02) and receded NPC was significantly related to lower magnitude BO break at near (p < 0.001). Distance IPD increased 3 mm over 10 years (p < 0.001) but was unrelated to the magnitude of the BO ranges (p > 0.2). Mean distance base-in (BI) break was 7 pd at year 1 and increased 0.5 pd in 10 years (p = 0.04). Mean near BI break was 13 pd at year 1 and did not significantly change. Mean distance phoria was 0.1 pd exophoria at year 1 and did not change, whereas near phoria was 2.4 pd esophoria at year 1 and became more exophoric (4 pd in 10 years, p < 0.001).
Conclusions. These results suggest that for myopic children convergence ranges decrease for both distance and near viewing during the school years as near phoria becomes more exophoric. These findings could have clinical implications given that compensating convergence ranges decrease as near phoria becomes more divergent.