InfantSee Eye Health Exam
The InfantSEE program makes free eye exams available to infants between the ages of 6 months and one year. Under this program, AOA optometrists provide a comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infants within the first year of life regardless of a family’s income or access to insurance coverage. Since most children never have an eye exam between birth and elementary school, an InfantSEE eye exam can catch certain vision challenges in their early stages. This allows for correction of the issue before it becomes a more serious problem.
Taking family history and certain health concerns related to the delivery, Dr. Felstet performs the assessment with a series of non-invasive tests and games that are used to determine whether their visual development is progressing normally and that their eyes are in good health.
These tests evaluate visual acuity, refraction, motility, alignment, binocularity and overall eye health. These tests can identify signs of vision problems, such as strabismus (crossed-eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye) and diseases of the eye. Early intervention is critical to successful and cost-effective treatment.
Visual Acuity – Traditional vision testing requires the patient to identify letters or symbols on eye charts and entail sustained attention. Since this method is not appropriate for infants and toddlers, tests to assess whether the infant can focus on an object, and follow that object as it moves are performed instead. Tests also determine which objects the baby prefers to look at, and at what distances.
Prescription status – The doctor of optometry uses lenses and light from a small hand-held instrument to assess how the baby’s eye responds to particular targets. Many infants have a mild or moderate degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism that often corrects itself as a baby continues to develop. Although correction may not be needed, careful follow-up is necessary.
Eye movement – Using hands, a light or a toy, the optometrist catches the baby’s attention and observes how the baby follows the movements of the object.
Eye Alignment/Binocular Potential – By covering one eye at a time, the optometrist can study eye muscles and acuity. Identifying strabismus, or crossed-eye, is important. The presence of strabismus may also be an indicator of other visual conditions and systemic diseases.
Eye Health – The optometrist will examine the eye’s structure as well as the eyelids, tear ducts, and other parts of the eye. The doctor will check pupil function and assess visual field. Optometrists may use a hand-held biomicroscope to evaluate the front of the eye. And once the baby’s eyes are dilated, the doctor can examine the inner eye.