Screening of amblyopic children and long-term follow-up

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 1996 Oct;74(5):488-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0420.1996.tb00605.x.


A prospective study of amblyopic children was carried out in 1982-1992 in the ophthalmology unit of a community health center, a referral center for 14,000 preschool children. Five hundred and twenty-six children in 1982-1983 were referred to an ophthalmologist because of a suspicion of amblyopia, strabismus or other visual disorders. Amblyopia was diagnosed in 109 children. In 18 children amblyopia was on an organic basis and among them 4 children had X-chromosomal retinoschisis. Risk factors for functional amblyopia were convergent strabismus, spherical equivalent of the refractive error of 3.5 dioptres or more or anisometropia of 1.0 dioptres or more. The children with established functional amblyopia (91 children) were treated with a full-time occlusion, or, at the age of younger than 18 months, with 0.5% atropin, and, at the minimum of 6 years, with pleoptics when indicated. One hundred amblyopic children were followed for a minimum of 4 years, reinstituting the occlusion therapy if visual acuity deteriorated. Seventy-two children with functional amblyopia (79%) were available for a detailed ophthalmological examination 9.7 years, on the average, after the initial examination. Only three of these children (4%) had visual acuity of less than 0.4 at that time. Well-functioning child health centers and school health care, as well as the availability of ophthalmological services, are important for a good final visual result of amblyopic children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia / diagnosis*
  • Amblyopia / physiopathology
  • Amblyopia / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensory Deprivation
  • Vision Screening / methods*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology