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Slit lamp examination of the eyes

Slit lamps are used to help an ophthalmologist to examine the eye. Any child with suspected JIA will have their eyes examined to screen for a condition called ‘uveitis’ which can occur in JIA, often without symptoms.

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What is it?

This is an examination of the eyes using a special light and magnification lens (‘slit lamp’) to look carefully at the front of the eye. An ophthalmologist (eye specialist based in hospital) will perform the test.

Who needs it?

Any child with suspected arthritis should be referred to have their eyes examined. It is needed to screen for a condition called uveitis, or inflammation in the front part of the eye, which can go along with juvenile forms of arthritis. Unfortunately uveitis can be present without any symptoms of the condition, and it can lead to deterioration in vision and ultimately blindness if left untreated.

How often should my child have this test? 

Children with JIA should all have an initial slit-lamp eye examination within six weeks of diagnosis according to the British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) and Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO). However, your child’s ophthalmologist[i] and/or rheumatologist will advise you about when and how often your child should be reviewed.