Eye problems can be easily missed in the early stages of infancy. The American Optometric Association recommends a baby’s first eye exam at 6-months of age. The testing that is performed are visual acuity, excessive amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, evaluate eye teaming and eye alignment. In addition, the health of the baby’s eyes will be evaluated to rule out ocular diseases. Although rare, most eye conditions are painless and can be easily missed.
One in every ten children are at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems, yet only 13 percent of mothers take their babies for an eye examination. Early intervention is crucial to prevent compromise to vision development in infants. The InfantSEE program provides a one-time, no cost eye and vision assessment for babies 6 to 12 months old. I am proud to be an InfantSEE provider. The good news about a trip to our office is that there are no shots or cold stethoscopes. It is recommended that an appointment is scheduled when the baby is well fed and not during nap time.
About 9 months ago, Landon was brought to our office for an eye examination by his mother. Unfortunately, a tumor called retinoblastoma was found in the back of his right eye and left eye. Retinoblastoma is a rare tumor that affects 200-300 children every year. He has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation at UCSF in order to preserve his vision.
You can follow Landon’s story here on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/LandonStrongRB/
I keep his chart on my desk as a reminder of the responsibility that I have to protect and preserve sight. To locate the nearest InfantSEE provider near you go to www.infantsee.org or call (888) 396 – 3937.