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The presence of Streff syndrome in emotionally disturbed children

1 May 1998


Streff syndrome consists of a bilateral decrease in visual acuity in young people, ages 8 to 1 8, that is not explained by pathological disorders or refractive error. The decrease in acuity is generally worse at near than at distance and is not immediately correctable with corrective Ienses. Other aspects of the syndrome include poor ocular pursuits, poor fixations and saccades. Color vision anomalies and constricted visual fields are common. Subjective complaints include headaches, words running together, diplopia and dizziness. Academic problems are also commonly reported. A strong association between emotional stresses in a young person's life and Streff syndrome has been suspected as an etiology. The Christie School is a residential facility for physically, emotionally and sexually abused children in Marylhurst, Oregon. The children obtain their primary vision care from Bruce Wojciechowski, OD. A review of the 71 records of the children who are residents of the Christie School who were patients at his office in the last three years was made. It was determined that a prevalence of 16.90% of the patients were diagnosed with Streff syndrome. This is 2.73 to 12 times the previously published prevalence of Streff syndrome in non-emotionally disturbed children. The ratio of boys to girls with Streff syndrome was 66% girls to 33% boys, which matches well with previous studies. Four cases studies of children diagnosed with Streff syndrome from the Christie School are presented. Treatment has been shown to be effective with low plus lenses and vision therapy.


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