November 2, 2011

Parents Now Have Web Site to Test Amblyopia

This is not about diabetes, but I felt that parents of young children should know about this free test to assess their children for amblyopia. What is amblyopia you ask? The definition in Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary says “Function: n: dimness of sight especially in one eye without apparent change in the eye structures called also lazy eye, lazy-eye blindness.”

The test was designed by David P. Taylor while he was a graduate student in the Department of Medical Informatics at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Researchers, led by Shaival Shah, MD, from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City presented the test at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2011 Annual Meeting.

This free and widely available Web-based test will allow parents to test their own children for amblyopia. assesses visual acuity, which has proven to be more reliable than other sensory tests. The online test comprises a series of 6 graphically rich, jargon-free, plain-language screens describing the test and how to interpret the findings. Typically, the test takes less than 15 minutes to complete.”

One warning to parents – follow directions carefully. The most common error was the parent putting the patch over the incorrect eye. The next most common error was measuring the distance from the screen.

Refinements of the screen instructions might lead to fewer misinterpretations of the instructions and decrease the error rate,” according to Richard Olson, MD, also from the University of Iowa, who was head of the research team.

Please read the press release here.

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