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Screen for lazy eye by age 5, experts say

girl getting eye exam Parents take note: A panel of experts says children should be screened for lazy eye at least once between ages 3 and 5.

In the new draft guideline, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reaffirms its 2011 recommendation for early identification of lazy eye, or amblyopia. Lazy eye, a common cause of poor vision in children, occurs when the brain and one eye don’t work together. If not detected and treated early, children with lazy eye are at risk of having permanent vision problems. The condition is typically found during a routine wellness checkup.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend that children have their eyes checked by a pediatrician starting at infancy and during scheduled well-child visits. If your pediatrician finds any problems, you’ll be referred to an ophthalmologist for further testing. Visit our Dartmouth-Hitchcock Healthwise® Health Encyclopedia website to learn more about common eye conditions affecting children.