August is Amblyopia Awareness Month, a reminder of the urgent need for annual photoscreening to detect amblyopia risk factors in children too young for a visual acuity test.
Amblyopia is the number one cause of childhood vision loss. But when it is caught early enough, corrective treatment is effective.
A child may still need to wear glasses, but it is possible to prevent vision loss associated with amblyopia if timely vision screenings are performed, such as during annual child well-check exams.
What Is Amblyopia?
Amblyopia (\ˌam-blē-ˈō-pē-ə\) is a condition that can develop when one eye has poor vision. The brain favors the “good” eye and ignores the images coming from the eye with poor vision.
This prevents the vision from fully developing and can cause permanent vision loss in the affected eye.
When this happens, even glasses cannot help make up for the vision that has been lost. Glasses can still be prescribed to help a child see more clearly, but perfectly clear vision cannot be obtained when amblyopia has caused some vision loss.
- Approximately 15%–20% of children are at risk for amblyopia1
- Amblyopia treatment works best before the age of 5.
- Only a fraction of children receive conclusive and timely screenings that could detect their amblyopia risk.2
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends photoscreening to detect amblyopia risk factors for children aged 12 months to 5 years.3
What Are The Risk Factors for Amblyopia?
There are several conditions that can lead to amblyopia, including:
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
The ability to see up close but not far away
- Farsightedness (hyperopia)
The ability to see far away but not up close
- Unequal prescriptions between both eyes (anisometropia)
The condition that results when the vision in each eye is different
When any of these risk factors are detected, it is possible that a child could have or develop amblyopia. And whether or not amblyopia is present, the risk factors alone may require a prescription for glasses so the child is able to see clearly.
GoCheck Kids helps pediatricians detect these risk factors with high specificity in patients as young as 6 months old.
What Can Be Done About Amblyopia?
You can be part of the solution to help prevent permanent childhood vision loss caused by amblyopia. This way, you ensure that all your patients are able to see their full potential later in life.
GoCheck Kids is used by 6,500 pediatricians to help detect amblyopia risk factors (myopia, hyperopia, anisometropia) before the child is old enough for a visual acuity test.
During the earliest years of life, detection of amblyopia risk and treatment for amblyopia is critical in order to prevent permanent vision loss.
Take Action Today!
Amblyopia Awareness Month is a perfect reminder of the critical need for early childhood vision screening to help end amblyopia.
Join 6,500 of your peers who have made the decision to prevent permanent vision loss with GoCheck Kids.
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