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Home » News » Study Finds Half of Childhood Blindness Cases Could Have Been Prevented

Study Finds Half of Childhood Blindness Cases Could Have Been Prevented

pediatric eye exams near me

Blindness is defined as having 20/200 vision in the better-seeing eye that cannot be improved with surgery, medication or eyeglasses.

Such a severe degree of vision loss can be very challenging for children and their families.

But what if some of those cases – even half of those cases – could be prevented?

A new study sheds light on the main causes of childhood blindness, and the need to [prioritize] early eye exams—even right after birth and during the first year of a baby’s life—in order to prevent vision loss in children.

What Are the Leading Causes of Blindness?

A new joint study conducted by researchers at Stanford University and Hanyang University Seoul Hospital suggests that many, perhaps most, children suffering from serious eye conditions could retain their vision with timely treatment.

The researchers studied the data of 961 blind children included in the IRIS® Registry, a comprehensive eye disease registry compiled by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). After analyzing the data, researchers discovered that many of the children became blind from retinopathy of prematurity (31.3%), nystagmus (8.1%) and cataracts (6.7%).

Blindness from these conditions can often be treated and even prevented, the researchers noted.

Can Vision Loss Be Prevented in Children?

Scott R. Lambert, professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Stanford University and the study’s co-author, said more needs to be done to prevent blindness in children.

Lambert noted that retinopathy of prematurity “is still a serious problem” that needs to be addressed by every neonatal intensive care unit to ensure that newborns retain their vision. Furthermore, he said that cataract removal delays are causing unnecessary vision loss.

What Can Parents Do?

What can you do to protect your children’s precious vision?

Having your child's eyesight checked regularly starting soon after birth and then during infancy allows their eye doctor to diagnose and treat eye conditions early, when treatment can significantly lower the risks of developing blindness.

To learn more or to book your appointment, we invite you to give us a call. Our eye care professionals at Giddens Optometry at Georgetown are able to provide these vital pediatric eye exams during early childhood and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can blindness in babies be reversed?

  • A: If detected early, vision loss caused by specific eye conditions can often be reversed. This is why it's so important to keep your child's eyes checked regularly by an eye doctor. Call Giddens Optometry at Georgetown to schedule an appointment today.

Q: How often should children’s eyes be tested?

  • A: Generally, children should have their eyes checked before 6 months of age, then yearly at ages 1, 2 and 3, and before starting school. Many optometrists recommend annual eye exams through 12th grade to ensure that if your child has myopia (nearsightedness) or another eye condition, it can be detected early.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Giddens Optometry for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


a3ef93d0 34de 453f b5f4 5ffd895a5f85 (1)A Letter from Dr. Ben Giddens

Hello friends, I have retired!

I had 37 years of good fun in Georgetown and loved the gift of meeting so many warm and friendly people! I am very sorry that I didn’t have the time to chat with everyone about my exact plans, and felt guilty over that at times. It was not an easy task. If anyone wants, or needs to contact me, please send an email to my office and I will reply.

I am 66 years old and still feel like I am in good health. My wife died of cancer in 2021 but I have good friends and family and a fun life. I recently moved back to Toronto which is where I grew up as a teenager. I have an active outdoor life and have many ski trips and travel plans in front of me. Lots of interests and activities to explore with an overriding sense that I am a lucky guy. I am also a grandfather now.

I have always tried to employ staff and optometrists who have a heart. I think that is where the office is at today and I hope it continues. Everyone knows their work, and the heart matters.