Could Visual Impairment in the Pediatric Age Group Be Reduced?


  • Tekin Yaşar
  • Çağatay Çağlar
  • Doğan Ceyhan

Received Date: 02.04.2012 Accepted Date: 29.08.2012 Turk J Ophthalmol 2013;43(3):195-201

Pediatric age is the most important period for preventive eye care services and research. Vision loss in this period could cause a long life without sight and also significant financial and moral losses, in terms of people and society. Rational screening programs may reduce vision loss in childhood and this issue increases the value of the subject. Retinopathy of prematurity, congenital/infantile cataracts and glaucoma, optic nerve and retinal pathologies, refractive errors, amblyopia, and strabismus are the major clinical pictures causing visual loss in childhood. Using the epidemiological data, it could be estimated that every year approximately two to three thousand children suffer an ophthalmologic disease that causes significant visual loss. Regarding the refractive errors and amblyopia, it could be estimated that hundreds of thousands of children need ophthalmological follow-up in the country. For the timely treatment of these pathologies, a couple of short eye examination programs seem more realistic. Childhood vision loss in the country could be reduced, by informing pediatricians and family physicians and by proper guiding of the public opinion. Effective eye screening could be achieved with the implementation of simple methods like red reflex/Brückner test with ophthalmoscopy, or simultaneous (binocular) retinoscopy and ophthalmoscopy of both eyes. Screening programs could be spread throughout the country by appropriate training of the physicians in the health institutions of the country. Screening programs will contribute to reduce the rate of visual disability by disseminating ophthalmologic practices throughout the country.

Keywords: Eye screening, visual loss in childhood, visual impairment, binocular retinoscopy

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