Infants Need Eye Exams Too!! Read on to learn more about the InfantSEE program at Primary Eye Care…
From sitting up, to crawling, to walking, these milestones seem to happen so quickly as your infant starts to grow and develop. Your baby’s vision is also taking monumental steps in development during this time, but these signs are not as obvious. The eyes are your infant’s window to learning in their new environment, so why not make sure they are developing correctly by taking part in the InfantSEE program at Primary Eye Care.
InfantSEE is a public health program launched in 2005 that aims to promote the eye and visual wellness of infants. This program provides no-cost eye exams for all infants ages 6-12 months at participating optometry offices.
Research has shown that at 6 months, the average child has already reached many critical developmental milestones. Many visual abilities also become fully functional around 6 months, making this the perfect time for your infant’s first eye and vision exam. Many eye conditions have no symptoms that are easily identified by a parent or at a well baby check-up, therefore, optometrists play a major role in not only detecting, but also treating many of these eye conditions. Interference with development during this critical period may lead to serious lifelong effects on your child’s vision, so early detection is key to ensuring your baby has healthy eyes and are developing properly.
What is the optometrist looking for?
- Patient history:
- Was the baby full term, premature, or low birth weight?
- Did the baby receive oxygen treatment at birth?
- Were there any complications during pregnancy or birth?
- Did the mother have any infections while pregnant?
- Any drug or alcohol use during pregnancy?
- Any family history of eye conditions or systemic conditions?
- Visual acuity:
- How well can your infant see?
- Refractive status:
- Is your infant’s prescription normal for this stage in development?
- Is the prescription equal between the two eyes?
- Eye movements
- Can your infant move his/her eyes in all directions equally?
- Eye Alignment/Binocular potential
- Are both eyes straight?
- Does one eye or both eyes wander or cross?
- Eye Health
- Are there any eye conditions present (ex. congenital cataracts, glaucoma, retinoblastoma, etc.)?
- Is intervention necessary?
- Does your infant need glasses?
- Does your infant have any medical conditions that need to be addressed?
Quick Facts (courtesy of the AOA Foundation)
- 1 in 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems
- 1 in 30 children will be affected by amblyopia (lazy eye), which is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people younger than 45 years
- 1 in 25 will develop strabismus (crossed-eyes), which is a risk factor for amblyopia
- 1 in 33 will have significant refractive error such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism
- 1 in 100 will exhibit evidence of an eye disease
- 1 in 20,000 will have retinoblastoma (intraocular cancer), which is the seventh most common pediatric cancer
- Only 13% of mothers with children 2 years and younger said they have taken their child to an optometrist for an eye exam
Give your child a chance at reaching their full visual potential and ensure their eyes are healthy and developing properly by bringing them in for an InfantSEE exam. Call our offices in Hutchinson or Litchfield to make your appointment today!
To learn more about the InfantSEE program, visit http://www.infantsee.org.
by Dr. Abby Taffe