University of Iowa Health Science Relations and
Ronald Keech, MD
Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Science
First Published: 2003
Last Revised: August 2003
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
Eye care specialists at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
are urging parents to screen their children for a disorder that can
potentially cause permanent vision loss, as part of National
Amblyopia, often called "lazy eye," is poor vision in an eye that
did not develop normal sight during early childhood. It is the most
common vision problem in preschool-age children. As many as 7,800
Iowa children under age 4 have poor vision in at least one eye.
"When undetected or left untreated, amblyopia can result in
permanent vision loss," said Ronald Keech, MD, UI professor of
ophthalmology and visual sciences. Keech also serves as service
director of pediatric ophthalmology and the adult strabismus
Early detection of amblyopia is critical to your child's eyesight.
It is as simple as having your child's picture taken. Local Lions
Club volunteers are trained to use a special camera, called the MTI
Photoscreener, which takes special Polaroid pictures of a child's
eyes to detect vision problems. The MTI PhotoScreener is the only
portable, commercially available instant camera in the world that
screens children's vision in an effective, non-invasive way.
"The camera tests eyesight for six disorders that may lead to lazy
eye," said Richard Olson, MD, UI associate professor of
ophthalmology. "When we detect amblyopia in children between the ages
of 6 months and 4 years, we can prevent vision loss."