Studies show that around one-fifth of premature babies will develop some form of strabismus (crossed eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye) or serious refractive error (requiring glasses) by the time they are three-years-old, according to an expert.
Natalia Uribe, an optometrist, who directs the Contact Lens Programme at The Vision Centre, Children"s Hospital Los Angeles, recently stressed the importance of children getting their eyesight corrected at a young age.
Premature infants are at particular risk for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a disease affecting the blood vessels which feed the retina.
Dr Uribe, whose clinic is growing and treats more than 700 young patients a year, said that more infants are being diagnosed with major eye problems because of improved screening along with the higher survival rate of premature babies.
by Alexa Kaczka