Experts from the American Optometric Association and the Michigan Optometric Association (MOA) agree that visual development is most dramatic between 6 and 12 months of age and that early detection can prevent and help reduce the threat of serious vision impairments. In fact, one in every 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems by the time they are 18 years of age. To raise awareness of this issue and promote visits to optometrists at a young age, Michigan InfantSEE Week will take place May 5-9, 2014. More than 300 Michigan optometrists participate in the InfantSEE program, which provides free eye vision assessments for babies, regardless of family income and insurance.
During the assessment, infants typically sit on their parent’s lap as the optometrist performs the exam. The optometrist uses lights and other hand held objects to check that the infant’s eyes are working together and there are no significant issues that may impede vision development.
Following the assessment, the optometrist will discuss or send a summary of information to the infant’s parents, pediatrician, family physician or other health care provider to report any significant condition diagnosed during the course of the assessment.
Early intervention is critical to successful and cost-effective treatment. There is a lack of public understanding of the importance of annual eye assessments for infants. If left untreated, vision problems can make learning difficult and may lead to permanent vision impairment.
For more information, or to locate a MOA InfantSEE optometrist in your area, call toll-free (888) 396-EYES or visit www.infantsee.org and click on the doctor locator link at the top of the page.