University of Edinburgh

Down's syndrome: vision, visual problems and visual assessment

Presented on 15 May 2008

J. Margaret Woodhouse, Cardiff University

Mohammad Al-Bagdady, Nathan Bromham, Mary Cregg,
Ping Ji, Ffion John, Julie-Anne Little, Julie McClelland,
Val Pakeman, Kathryn J. Saunders, Ruth Stewart

Visual Acuity

Visual Acuity (detail vision)

snellen chart

Contrast sensitivity

contrast chart

Visual Acuity (VA)

continuum of visual acuity

Measuring acuity - pictures

Kay pictures

kay pictures

Lea symbols

Lea symbols

Measuring acuity (Cardiff test)

Cardiff test

Measuring acuity (Teller cards)

teller cards

teller cards

Measuring contrast sensitivity


contrast chart

Hiding Heidi

hiding Heidi

Behavioural acuity

behavioural acuity

Behavioural contrast sensitivity

behavioural contrast

Visual Evoked Potentials - VEP's

evoked potentials

Mean values, acuity

mean values acuity

Mean values , contrast sensitivity

mean values contrast

Children with Down's syndrome have poorer vision than their peers.
This applies to children with no other eye defects, and to children wearing their glasses.

Grating resolution acuity – influenced by optics


Julie-Anne Little and Kathryn Saunders

Given practice first with laminated sheets.

Interferometry - bypasses the optics of the eye


acuity chart

Vision is closer to 'normal' when the optics of the eye are bypassed

acuity chart

Coleraine study

  • Difference between children with DS and controls was much less when optics were excluded
  • Poor quality cornea and lens optics contribute to poor acuity in Down's syndrome

Maximise vision by

  • Ensuring regular eye examinations
  • Correcting defects with spectacles
  • Ensuring tasks are BIG and BOLD