Amblyopia or lazy eyes is a common condition where vision is reduced in one or infrequently in both eyes. Amblyopia develops when an eye does not receive optimal visual stimulation during the early formative years and hence there is poor development of brain-eye neural pathways.
A child with amblyopia has little or no symptoms. Hence, screening is essential to detect it. In Singapore, a vision screen is done at the age of four by the polyclinics. Annual vision testing is also performed in schools for children starting from five years and above. Children with poor vision are then referred to either the refraction clinic at the Health Promotion Board or to a paediatric eye clinic.
Once a child is referred to the eye clinic, he or she will need to go through an eye examination to determine the cause of amblyopia. Eye alignment is checked, glasses power measured with cycloplegic refraction and a thorough eye examination will be performed.
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