Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Serious Vision Problems In Urban Preschoolers Rare But Not That Rare, Study Shows

Date:
April 1, 2009
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
In what is believed to be the first comprehensive eye disease study among urban pre-schoolers, investigators report that while vision problems are rare, they are more common than once thought. Also, they say, a small group of children with easily treatable visions problems go untreated, while others get treatments they don't need.

In what is believed to be the first comprehensive eye disease study among urban pre-schoolers, Johns Hopkins investigators report that while vision problems are rare, they are more common than once thought. Also, they say, a small group of children with easily treatable visions problems go untreated, while others get treatments they don't need.

Writing in the April issue of the journal Ophthalmology, investigators from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say 5 percent of the nearly 2,300 Baltimore area children who were followed in the study, had refractive errors—a defect in the eye's ability to focus light—significant enough to require treatment, but only 1 percent actually were treated. Among 29 children who had a prescription for eyeglasses before entering the study, more than one-third didn't need eyeglasses.

Undetected and untreated, refractive errors can cause loss of visual acuity and eventually lead to amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes), which are hard or impossible to reverse after age 7.

In the study, more than half of the 1,268 black children (55 percent) had some refractive errors as did half (51 percent) of the 1,030 white children. Because overall, one in 20 children studied had a problem that is easily treated, the researchers suggest that pediatricians screen routinely during physicals and parents should insist on screening by age 4.

"The good news is that serious eye disease in preschoolers appears to be uncommon, but the bad news is that we're missing kids who need treatment and treating some children who don't need it," says investigator Michael X. Repka, M.D., deputy director of ophthalmology at Hopkins Children's.

A surprising additional finding in the report is that contrary to previous research suggesting that most infants will outgrow their farsightedness in the first few years of life, few children in the Baltimore study did outgrow it during their preschool years, making early diagnosis and treatment critical, says lead investigator David Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, was the most common abnormality, occurring more often in white children (40 percent of 1,030) than in black children (31 percent of 1,268).

Anisometropia, a condition marked by a difference in vision between the two eyes, was more common in black children (18 percent) than in white children (11 percent). Black children also had more nearsightedness (6 percent) compared to 0 percent among white children.

Other findings:

  • Only 3 percent of all children in the study had severe farsightedness, while only 0.6 percent had severe near-sightedness.
  • Only 1 percent of black children and 1.5 percent of white children had a difference in vision between the two eyes (anisometropia) that required treatment.
  • Fewer than 3 percent of children had serious astigmatism, an optical defect that can cause lazy eye, blurred vision, headaches, eye strain and fatigue.

The research was funded by the National Eye Institute.

Other Hopkins investigators in the study: Lydia Giordano, Joanne Katz, Josephine Ibironke, Patricia Hawes, James Tielsch.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Serious Vision Problems In Urban Preschoolers Rare But Not That Rare, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401101739.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2009, April 1). Serious Vision Problems In Urban Preschoolers Rare But Not That Rare, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401101739.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Serious Vision Problems In Urban Preschoolers Rare But Not That Rare, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401101739.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins