Amblyopia is a life-long vision impairment that affects 2 percent to 4 percent of the population in the U.S., yet is highly preventable and treatable if recognized early. The study, “Practical Community Photoscreening in Very Young Children,” in the March 2013 Pediatrics (published online on Feb. 11), examined the results of the photoscreening program, KidSight, between May 2000 and April 2011. Study authors compared vision screening results in children from 1 to 3 years of age with children ages 4 and older, and found the test was equally effective in each age group at detecting vision problems. Study authors conclude that vision screening can accurately identify risk factors for amblyopia in children 1 to 3 years of age and should be conducted in children as young as age 1 year. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recently reported insufficient data to recommend photoscreening in children younger than 3, but the results from this study confirm that early screening can detect and recognize amblyogenic factors, and that treatment can effectively restore vision in younger children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (www.aap.org