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Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2013 Oct-Dec;20(4):345-8. doi: 10.4103/0974-9233.120020.

Comparison of visual acuity results in preschool children with lea symbols and Bailey-Lovie E chart.

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Department of Optometry, Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University, Karnataka, India.



To compare visual acuity with two visual acuity charts in preschool children.


Visual acuity measurement with Lea symbols and Bailey-Lovie tumbling E chart was performed on children between 3 and 6 years of age. Visual acuity data from the two charts were analyzed with Bland-Altman plot to determine the limits of agreement. The Wilcoxon signed test was performed in children aged 3-4 years and in children aged 5-6 years separately to evaluate the influence of age. The inter-eye difference between the two charts were further analyzed with the paired t-test. A p value > 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


A total of 47 children were enrolled for the study. The average logarithm of the Minimum Angle of Resolution (LogMAR) monocular visual acuity with Lea symbols (0.17 ± 0.13) was better than the Bailey-Lovie tumbling E chart (0.22 ± 0.14). The mean difference between Bailey-Lovie tumbling E chart and Lea symbol chart was 0.05 ± 0.12 in logMAR units. A second analysis eliminating outliers showed the same result but lower differences (n = 43, 0.05 ± 0.05 logMAR units). Visual acuity results between the two charts in children aged 3-4 years showed a significant difference (p = 0.000), but not for children aged 5-6 years (p = 0.059). Inter-eye differences between the two charts was not statistically significant (p = 0.77).


Bailey-Lovie tumbling E chart is comparable to the Lea symbols chart in pre-school children. But preference should be given to Lea symbols for children aged 3-4 years as the symbols are more familiar than a directional test for this age group.


Bailey-Lovie tumbling E chart; Lea symbols; visual acuity

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