Cardiff University

Better eye care for children with Down’s syndrome

Children with Down's syndrome are at much greater risk of eye and vision disorders than typically developing children. Then tend to have more regular eye examinations and are more likely to need glasses.

For the past 27 years, Dr Margaret Woodhouse and her team at the Down’s Syndrome Vision Research Unit have been researching and tailoring eye care for children with the condition, improving their learning and educational opportunities.

Changes to sight tests, teaching methods and resources for children with Down's syndrome are just some of the life-changing impacts of the unit’s work. 

Before the unit was established at Cardiff University, visual problems in children with Down’s syndrome were very poorly understood, misinterpreted and undiagnosed. The unit was established in direct response to this neglected area of research and is now at the forefront of research in its field.

The unit’s life-changing research discoveries, such as the process which corrects errors in typical infants fails in those with Down's syndrome, have directly underpinned national and international guidance. The research has also informed training for optometrists and changed the way that those working with and educating young people with Down’s syndrome set up the learning environment.

Further reading