Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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Shelley Osterloh ReportingThere are a host of things that can cause eyesight problems in newborns. In this segment of "U to You" Shelley Osterloh identifies what to look for and talks to a very brave young man who's been through a lot with his eyes.
The Moran Eye Center at the U works with patients of all ages. Dr. Robert Hoffman concentrates on the very young and says parents should be able to spot problems early.
Robert O. Hoffman, M.D., Moran Eye Center, U of U: "Most newborns, by somewhere between four to six months of age should follow parents face, look at toys and interact with the world around them. And if not that is a sign that's something is wrong."
Sometimes it's someone else who catches a potential problem, as in young Bryant Sheppard who came to Dr. Hoffman when his Pediatrician noticed an abnormal light reflex in one of his eyes. It turned out to be a large tumor.
Robert O. Hoffman, M.D., Moran Eye Center, U of U: "So that eye, to remove that tumor burden in the threat that posed to him, was removed."
Because there was a smaller tumor in the other eye, radiation therapy was used successfully to save it.
Robert O. Hoffman, M.D., Moran Eye Center, U of U: "He has wonderful vision in his remaining eye and has continued to grow and thrive. We seem him very frequently."
Bryant Sheppard, Patient: "Yeah, I was thinking they should put my own room here, I'm in here so much."
Robert O. Hoffman, M.D.: "The good news you know is that he is seeing, he is functioning and he's healthy. And you know, for that I'm very grateful."
Bryant Sheppard: "I don't mind it. I mean it's actually sort of cool. It's really good to gross people with having an eye that can be removed."
Talk about a positive attitude. Bryant is looking forward to designing video games when he grows up.
Screening exams for school children are mandated by law in Utah, but Dr. Hoffman says it's never too early to see a professional if you have the slightest question.