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Infants with eyelid tumors benefit from new test

Amblyopia is failure of vision to develop fully in infants despite normal eyes. It can occur from various causes, including strabismus (crossed eyes), undiagnosed need for strong eyeglasses, and most severely when the vision is blocked due to a drooping eyelid. One of the benign tumors of the eyelid, known as hemangiomas, can cause amblyopia so severe that it is called "Ambyopia Ex Anopsia." Researchers have developed a simple vision test to detect early signs of amblyopia in infants with hemangiomas of the eyelid. Hemangiomas are vascular birthmarks on either the upper or lower eyelids. While the birthmarks usually resolve over time on their own, they can lead to permanent reduction in vision (amblyopia). Amblyopia is seen in 43-60% of patients with eyelid hemangiomas. [caption id="attachment_1280" align="alignleft" width="150"] Although this capillary hemangioma of an infant's eyelid looks severe and debilitating, it responds and disappears in response to minor treatments, including steroid injections.[/caption] The new test works by measuring brain responses to changes in the alignment of two lines.? Eyes affected by the hemangiomas have brainwave responses that are markedly reduced. This new test is significant because many times there is no clinical evidence of amblyopia. Early detection will then allow these children to receive the necessary treatment. This test may also prove effective in detecting visual problems associated with other eyelid problems. Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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