Distribution of ametropia among military beneficiaries.
ABSTRACT In addition to active duty military members and their dependents, retired military members and the members of their immediate families are eligible for eye care in military medical treatment facilities. We recorded refractive errors, age, sex, and race for 4,595 individual beneficiaries visiting optometry clinics at two U.S. Air Force medical treatment facilities during 2005 to 2006. Evaluation revealed most patients requiring optical correction were myopic, or near-sighted, and there was an increase in the degree of myopia between ages 4 and 23. That trend is reversed at age 30 and, by age 60, most patients are hyperopic, or far-sighted. Both trends were true for both sexes and all ethnicities studied. The degree of astigmatism was distributed similarly between races and age groups. Presbyopia occurred at similar ages and progressed at similar rates in all ethnicities and both sexes.