Photoscreening for Amblyopia Should Be Done Early

April 14, 2008

Photoscreening infants and toddlers for amblyopia results in better visual outcomes after treatment compared with later screening of preschoolers, reports an article published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in April.

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Photoscreening infants and toddlers for amblyopia results in better visual outcomes after treatment compared with later screening of preschoolers, reports an article published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in April.

Valerie G. Kirk, of Ophthalmic Associates in Anchorage, Alaska, and colleagues studied the effect of early photoscreening on visual outcomes, performing photoscreening on 21,367 Alaskan children through grade 2. Children with positive screens were referred for complete eye examination and treatment. Children younger than age 4 with positive screens who received at least two years of treatment were followed to assess treatment results.

The researchers report that of the 36 children photoscreened before age 2 years with positive screens, the mean treated visual acuity was 0.17 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (log-MAR), which was superior to that of the 58 children screened between ages 2 and 4 years (mean treated visual acuity 0.26 logMAR). Children screened before age 2 years had a lower risk of failing to reach visual acuity of 20/40 (5 percent) compared to those screened between ages 2 and 4 (17 percent).

"Infants and toddlers younger than 2 years who had amblyopia detected by photoscreening had treatment successes averaging about 1 logMAR line better than children who had amblyopia detected between ages 2 and 4 years," the authors conclude.

Vision screen technology used in the study was provided at discounted rates by several vendors.

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