Purpose: To identify new types of clinical findings that could be used to diagnose and treat non-organic visual loss (NOVL). Methods: This study retrospectively examined the records of 191 patients diagnosed with NOVL at the Kato Eye Clinic. Clinical characteristics, including uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA) and complaints of vision loss, were compared in 125 of 191 patients with NOVL and control subjects with organic refractive errors, identified during annual school health checks. If available, familial background data for the NOVL patients were compared with data from a mass population study. Familial background data included the presence of siblings, and whether the mother worked outside the home. Results: Patients with NOVL were more likely to be younger and female (P=0.02, and P<0.001, respectively). UCVA was statistically similar in the better eyes of the NOVL and control subjects (P=0.60), even though the NOVL patients were much more likely to be emmetropic (P<0.001). Complaints of vision loss were significantly more common in the patients with NOVL than in the control subjects (P=0.001). There was no significant difference in the presence of siblings between the subjects in the mass population study and the patients with NOVL (P=0.38), but the NOVL patients were significantly more likely to have a mother who did not work outside the home (P=0.01). Conclusion: Patients with NOVL tended to be younger, female and to complain more often of vision loss, compared to control subjects with organic refractive errors. Familial background factors, including the presence of siblings or a mother working outside the home, seemed not to be associated with the pathogenesis of NOVL, compared to subjects in a mass population study.
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