Experts Suggest Broader Use of Existing Tool - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/19/08

Experts Suggest Broader Use of Existing Tool

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The Red Eye Reflex is a tool that every pediatrician is recommended to have in the office. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests every infant and child should get the Red Eye reflex exam. The new guidelines suggest babies in neonatal nurseries get the test before they go home. The device is a portable battery powered tool with a light that can find all sorts of problems from cataracts to cancer.

Ophthalmologist, Robert Hoffman, M.D., says, "You can access the surface of the eye, look at the cornea, the lens, and then we can also use this to look at structures inside the eye. The scariest thing in the list of possible causes for that is retinal blastoma. Cataracts in infants, particularly if they occur in one eye, will go on and, if not caught in the first couple of months of life, can cause irreversible harm that we cannot fix down the road."

The device shows cataracts, misaligned eyes and tumors. The red eye reflex tool is a simple and inexpensive device that the AAP says can reflect many things and early intervention, especially at the age of an infant. The red eye reflex is the key to preventing serious problems later.

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