Vision Development Program
The Vision Development Program in The Vision Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles is active in the study of conditions that disrupt early childhood vision development. Early detection and intervention is key to preserving and restoring normal binocular development that typically arise in the first years of life and impact a child's learning ability. Through research on early glasses correction for hyperopia and assessment of focusing behavior in infants and toddlers, the eye doctors are proactive in the efforts to improve visual outcomes in children at risk of lifelong visual impairment from childhood vision disorders.
Our physician-scientists are committed to identifying which interventions are most effective at different stages of a child’s development, and gaining understanding about:
- Refractive Error
Featured in Research Highlights
The Vision Development Program is one of the few programs nationwide to apply functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques to the study of common childhood disorders of visual development. We are particularly interested in interactions between both eyes at the level of the brain’s visual areas in such conditions as strabismus (eye misalignment), which prevent the eyes from being used together normally.
Another major focus is the fascinating problem of early childhood farsightedness, which causes much of the eye crossing seen in young children. There currently is no consensus on how to treat this condition. The Vision Development Program is conducting the first-ever clinical trial in the United States to determine whether early glasses correction can prevent farsightedness in infants and toddlers. At the same time, we are studying focusing behavior in infants and toddlers, with and without farsightedness, to gain a better understanding of how to recognize which children are most at risk for future problems.
Vision Development Research
The Vision Development Program is dedicated to helping children with conditions that affect the normal development of vision, including strabismus (eye misalignment), amblyopia (decreased vision in one eye, sometimes called "lazy eye") and hypermetropia (far-sightedness). In particular, we are interested in creating new knowledge about the interactions between both eyes at the level of the brain’s visual areas and in finding better ways to recognize which children are at greatest risk for future vision problems.
We employ a variety of innovative tools and approaches to take us one step closer to medical answers for children and their families.
- Early intervention for childhood hypermetropia
- This clinical trial is enrolling farsighted children between the ages of 6 months and 24 months who do not have strabismus (eye crossing) or amblyopia (decreased vision in one eye, sometimes called "lazy eye"). Eligible participants are randomly assigned to either glasses treatment or close observation, with follow-up every six months until the age of 3 1/2 years, unless strabismus or amblyopia develops before this time-point.
- Collaboration with craniofacial research
- The Vision Development Program is partnering with craniofacial experts in the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Division of Plastic Surgery, led by Mark M. Urata, MD, DDS, on studies looking at the impact of disorders such as craniosyntosis on visual development.