Increasing Glow Detection through Childhood Vision Screening

Dr. Buffenn leads search for efficient childhood vision screening practices

1 in 4 children have an undiscovered vision problem; however, The Ohio State University College of Optometry estimates that only 14 percent of preschool children receive a comprehensive vision exam. This is especially concerning because 1 in 80 children could exhibit “The Glow” and be at-risk of developing a sight-threatening disease. Dr. Angela Buffenn and her team at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles are looking to change this unfortunate reality.

The team’s goal is to increase the number of early childhood vision screening exams by developing more efficient eye screenings. While working toward this goal, the team shares the Know The Glow® passion for increasing physician awareness of the importance of red eye reflex testing.

To build screening practices suitable for busy pediatric clinics, Dr. Buffen’s team is testing the validity of using photographs that exhibit a white or golden yellow glow in a child’s eye. The team is comparing red eye reflex exam results with glow photos. Their hope is that these photographs have potential as a screening tool. Early detection will help save sight!

As the team publishes research updates, Know The Glow will share the findings.

About Dr. Buffenn

Angela N. Buffenn, MD, MPH, is director of the Orbit and Eye Movement Institute in The Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She also is director of the Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Fellowship Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, where she is an assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology. Dr. Buffenn earned her Medical Degree and Masters of Public Health Degree from the University of Michigan. She completed her residency at the University of Maryland and her fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Read Dr. Buffenn’s full professional bio on the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles website.


Ciner, E. B., P. P. Schmidt, D. Orel-Bixler, V. Dobson, M. Maquire, L. Cyert, B. Moore, and J. Schultz. “Vision Screening of Preschool Children: Evaluating the Past, Looking toward the Future.” Optometry and Vision Science: Official Publication of The American Academy of Optometry. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 1998. Web. 20 Apr. 2015. <>.

“Physician Search.” Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <>.

“Vision in Preschoolers Study (VIP) Study).” Vision In Preschoolers Study. Ohio State University College of Optometry, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <>.

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