Items in AFP with MESH term: Amblyopia
ABSTRACT: Early and accurate detection of eye disorders in children can present a challenge for family physicians. Visual acuity screening, preferably performed before four years of age, is essential for diagnosing amblyopia. Cover testing may disclose small-angle or intermittent strabismus. Leukocoria, which is detected with an ophthalmoscope, may indicate retinoblastoma or cataract. Children with glaucoma may have light sensitivity and enlargement of the cornea, and conjunctivitis that does not respond quickly to treatment may reflect more serious ocular inflammation. Children with serious eye injuries often present to the primary care physician. Nystagmus and many systemic conditions are associated with specific eye findings.
Amblyopia - Article
ABSTRACT: Amblyopia, a decrease in visual acuity, is a major public health problem with a prevalence of 1 to 4 percent in the United States. It is thought to develop early in life during the critical period of visual development. Early recognition of amblyogenic risk factors such as strabismus, refractive errors, and anatomic obstructions can facilitate early treatment and increase the chance for recovery of visual acuity. Multiple medical organizations endorse screening for visual abnormalities in children and young adults, yet only 20 percent of school-age children have routine vision screening examinations. Any child with a visual acuity in either eye of 20/40 or worse at age three to five years or 20/30 or worse at age six years or older, or a two-line difference in acuity between eyes, should be referred to an ophthalmologist for further evaluation and definitive therapy. Treatment is started at the time of diagnosis and depends on the etiology. Treatment options for children with strabismus include patching and atropine drops. Children with refractive errors should be prescribed corrective lenses. Corneal lesions, cataracts, and ptosis require surgery. The success of therapy is highly dependent on treatment compliance. Patients and their parents should be educated about the need for regular follow-up and the risk of permanent vision loss.
The Eye in Childhood - Article
ABSTRACT: Normal visual development is rapid during the first six months of life and continues through the first decade. Young children are uniquely sensitive to conditions that interfere with vision and visual development. Amblyopia, or functionally defective development of the central visual system, may be caused by common vision problems such as strabismus, uncorrected refractive errors and deprivation secondary to occlusion. Prematurity is especially associated with eye pathology, including retinopathy of prematurity, amblyopia, strabismus and refractive errors. When detected early, amblyopia and many other childhood vision abnormalities are treatable, but the potential for correction and normal visual development is inversely related to age. Since many affected children are asymptomatic, early detection of abnormal visual function requires effective screening throughout early childhood. Special considerations apply to screening examinations of children born prematurely.
Screening for Visual Impairment in Children Younger Than Five Years: Recommendation Statement - U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
ABSTRACT: Amblyopia is the leading cause of vision loss in children. It is treatable if diagnosed early, making identification of affected children critical. The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that clinicians routinely perform age-appropriate vision chart testing, red reflex testing, and examination for signs of strabismus. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends vision screening for all children at least once between three and five years of age to detect the presence of amblyopia or its risk factors. Photoscreening may be a useful adjunct to traditional vision screening, but there is limited evidence that it improves visual outcomes. Treatments for amblyopia include patching, atropine eye drops, and optical penalization of the nonamblyopic eye. In children with moderate amblyopia, patching for two hours daily is as effective as patching for six hours daily, and daily atropine is as effective as daily patching. Children older than seven years may still benefit from patching or atropine, particularly if they have not previously received amblyopia treatment. Amblyopia recurs in 25 percent of children after patching is discontinued. Tapering the amount of time a patch is worn each day at the end of treatment reduces the risk of recurrence.