Baby Jordan looks pretty happy undergoing an infant visual test. These free tests are performed here in Altus at Dr. David Huey’s office.
Oklahoma City – The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians (OAOP) and its members have named April 16 – 21 InfantSee® week. InfantSee® is a public health program designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness to improve a child’s quality of life. Optometric physicians have been part of this program since its inception in 2005, providing InfantSEE comprehensive eye exams free of charge. The April emphasis on InfantSEE is designed to bring heightened awareness of the program to the public and motivate parents to take advantage of free InfantSEE examinations to ensure eye wellness in infants. Dr. David Huey in Altus will be participating.
Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States and the most prevalent handicapping condition during childhood. In fact, one in every 10 children is at risk for undiagnosed eye and vision problems, yet statistics show only 13 percent of mothers with children younger than two take their babies to see an eye and vision care professional for a regular check-up. Risk factors for many eye conditions, including amblyopia (often referred to as lazy eye), muscle imbalances, and some ocular diseases, have no signs or symptoms and may not be detected in a well-baby check-up. Doctors of optometry have the training to identify areas of risk that are critical to vision development and the skills to identify conditions that might not be detected in a routine pediatric wellness exam.
“OAOP and its members across the state are proud to offer this free service to the citizens of Oklahoma,” said Saundra Naifeh, OAOP Chief Executive Officer. “It is critical that parents get involved in their child’s eye care at an early age. Undetected vision problems can affect every stage of a child’s development and cause major hardships during school years.” An InfantSee® assessment is recommended between six and 12 months of age and determines if an infant is at risk for eye or vision disorders. Clinical experience and research shows that at six months, the average child has reached a number of critical developmental milestones, making this the appropriate age for the first eye and vision examination. Successful treatment for certain ocular conditions detected in infants is more likely with early intervention, avoiding lifelong effects on vision.
During the InfantSEE evaluation, Doctors of Optometry conduct a number of vision tests using variety of clinical instruments as well as accessories such as penlights, finger puppets and toys. Parents can usually hold their baby in their lap during the exam. An assessment for visual acuity and refraction is conducted to measure for nearsightedness or farsightedness. Both are common risk factors for amblyopia, which develops when an otherwise healthy eye has not received adequate use during early childhood. Nearsightedness and farsightedness in an infant’s developing eye can cause the brain to favor seeing through one eye, suppressing vision in the other eye, which can lead to permanent vision impairment. The InfantSee® exam also tests for motility, alignment and binocularity, which can determine the presence of strabismus, a condition that occurs when both eyes are not aimed at the same object.
The InfantSee® evaluation also calculates eye coordination, the ability of both eyes to work together to create one three-dimensional image in the brain.
The baby’s overall eye health will also be examined by looking at the eye’s structure, pupil function and the inner eye in order to detect ocular diseases such as retinoblastoma, the seventh most common pediatric cancer.
What better way to start a lifetime of routine eye care than to take advantage of the special emphasis we’re placing on the InfantSee® program this April,” added Naifeh.
The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians represents more than 600 optometric physicians who provide eye health care to patients living in 72 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. To schedule an InfantSee® exam, contact the office of Dr David Huey at 580-447-1355.