InfantSEE is a year-round program that provides no-cost exams for infants aged six to 12 months

InfantSEE is a year-round program that provides no-cost exams for infants aged six to 12 months

At Visual Eyes optometry practice, we believe that people of all ages should receive eye exams. The importance of eye exams are well-documented, preventing vision loss and disease. Even children are susceptible to vision problems and eye diseases. In fact, one in 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye disease. Yet only 14 percent of children from infancy to 6 years old receive a comprehensive eye exam. This can be detrimental for proper development and education. Nearly 80 percent of we learn is through the eyes. We need to ensure our children have the best vision possible to make learning easier.

That’s why we participate in InfantSEE, a year-round program that provides no-cost exams by an eye doctor who has the instruments and resources for eye care that are not available to pediatricians and family doctors. With this program we can detect potential problems, that if left undetected, may lead to learning and developmental issues later. Additionally, it gives new parents the peace of mind that their infant’s vision is developing properly.

Eye conditions that may affect children are more common than you think

Did you know one in 30 children will be affected by amblyopia, more often referred to as lazy eye, which is a leading cause of vision loss in people younger than 45 years? This is just one of the eye conditions that can and does affect children around the world.

Others include:

  • Strabismus – More commonly known as crossed-eyes, it affects one in 25 and is a risk factor for amblyopia
  • Significant refractive error – One in 33 will be affected from errors such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or astigmatism
  • Eye disease – One in 100 will exhibit evidence of eye disease, such as glaucoma
  • Retinoblastoma – One in 20,000 children have retinoblastoma, also known as intraocular cancer, the seventh most common pediatric cancer

Additionally, a study from 2006 to 2007 showed that one in nine infants assessed showed an overall need for concern, which required follow-up or referral to a specialist

There is also clinical data that demonstrates the need for InfantSEE

Current red reflex screening, as performed by pediatricians or family physicians, appears to be ineffective in detecting early retinoblastoma as over 80 percent of patients had their presenting sign detected by a family member or friend.

The majority of vision problems detected through InfantSEE assessments include retinoblastoma (eye cancer), severe hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), congenital glaucoma and congenital cataract .

Babies born prematurely and those from ethnic minority backgrounds were at greatest risk for abnormal prescription status.

The Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC) reported that intensive screening performed six times between ages eight months and 37 months by an eye care professional led to a decrease in:

  • Amblyopia, which was three times less likely after treatment – from 1.8 percent to 0.6 percent
  • Residual amblyopia from 25 percent to 7.5 percent after treatment

A study reported by the American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) in 2007 found that infants and toddlers whose amblyopia was detected by age two years had substantially better treatment success than children whose amblyopia was detected between ages two and four years .

The proportion of children with the condition and the severity of amblyopia increases with each preschool year, from one to five years.

The added economic value in America for amblyopia care is estimated to be $27.9 billion. InfantSEE estimates that scheduled visual examinations cost approximately $4.8 billion per year.

How can you check the eyes of an infant?

Infants cannot respond to “which is better 1 or 2”. Therefore, special lenses and a light are used to evaluate the reflex of the infant’s eyes to determine an approximate prescription. Another instrument is used to look at the retina (the back inside of the eye) to ensure the eyes are healthy. Eye alignment is also evaluated to look for an eye turn (strabismus). Dr. Miller also checks for a lazy eye (amblyopia) during her evaluation.

Read our FAQ’s about InfantSEE