A new study is examining the use of photoscreening to detect amblyopia, or 'lazy eye' in children aged 6 months to 6 years.
Amblyopia, known as "lazy eye," is a major cause of vision problems in children and a common cause of blindness in people aged 20 to 70 in developed countries.
Experts at University of Iowa used the Medical Technology, Inc. (MTI) PhotoScreener, which records the pattern of light reflected through each of the child's pupils as the child's eyes are photographed.
Photoscreened images were then assessed by a trained reader and children with abnormal results were referred to ophthalmologists or optometrists for thorough eye exams.
About 4 percent of children screened needed follow-up for possible amblyopia, which corresponds to the expected rate of the disorder in the general population.
"This program has had a lasting, beneficial impact on the children of Iowa, and seems to be cost-effective as well," medical director William E. Scott, of the University of Iowa said.
Amblyopia is usually treated with special eyeglasses, patching of the stronger eye, medications, or a combination of approaches.
The study is published in October's Ophthalmology journal.