Strabismus Detection and Amblyopia Prevention in Primary Care
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Primary care providers are charged with the responsibility of identifying abnormal visual function when performing scheduled health screening of children. Providers performing pediatric well-child vision examinations are failing to diagnose 5-10% of children with amblyopia. Failure to recognize and immediately refer conditions such as amblyopia, strabismus, and uncorrected refractive errors can permanently jeopardize normal visual development. These conditions can result in poor academic performance and may progress to blindness. Because optic nerve development occurs until age 10, rapid diagnosis and treatment correlates to better outcomes, however, treatment should be pursued at all ages of diagnosis. Critical screening techniques for primary care providers and in depth information regarding referral and treatment options for clinicians and patients are reviewed.