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November 1992

Screening Preschool Children to Detect Visual and Ocular Disorders

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(11):1553-1554. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080230053018

A recent policy statement1 of the American Academy of Ophthalmology asserts that "Most serious ocular conditions [of infants and children] which can be found at screening and which are treatable are identified in the preschool years." To an ophthalmologist, this is powerful justification for the Academy's recommendations for preschool screening and the similar advice promulgated, for years in some cases, by those devoted to pediatric and ocular health care.2-4 The potential development of irreversible amblyopia can be considered the driving force for screening programs. Early treatment can be curative, but without early treatment of amblyopia, incurable, lifelong visual deficits can be established. Possible associated conditions include refractive errors, strabismus, and cataract. Although compliance with screening guidelines3 appears to promote early treatment, inappropriately late diagnosis of children's eye disorders persists.5

Technical shortcomings notwithstanding, the main problem with past screening programs has been the absence of screening of

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