The UK NSC recommendation on Vision defects screening in children
Find general information about population health screening.
Why is screening recommended by UK NSC?
The UK National Screening Committee recommends that screening of children’s eyes should continue to be offered to all children aged 4 – 5 years. This service should be organised and led by specialists (orthoptists). The review found that:
The Committee would welcome research to understand more about the long term effects of amblyopia and the long term effects of treatment.
More about Vision Defects
Vision defects in children include amblyopia, refractive error and strabismus. Amblyopia, when the eye doesn't work properly, even though it appears normal, is one of the main problems affecting children aged between 4 and 5 years. Other problems affecting the eye include refractive error (short or long sight) and strabismus (squint). Amblyopia can be a very mild problem but can become more serious if left untreated or if sight in the other eye is lost or damaged.
Children's sight is tested using charts with letters in rows of different sizes. They start off large at the top and get smaller as they get closer to the bottom of the chart. Children are asked to read the letters out from a particular distance, until they can read no more.
• British and Irish Orthoptic Society
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.
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