Cooing, crawling and walking are signs that your baby is growing at a healthy pace. Your baby’s vision has stages of development too, but the signs marking progress with your baby’s eyesight are not as evident.

Those little eyes will be the windows she uses to learn almost everything about her new world. It’s up to you to help guarantee she sees her new world clearly and accurately.

Even if no eye or vision problems are apparent, the American Optometric Association recommends scheduling your baby’s first eye assessment at 6 months of age.

At Eye Center, Inc. we are proud to announce that our very own Dr. Madison Easterling is a participating InfantSEE provider. Developed by the AOA and Johnson & Johnson Vision, InfantSEE is a public health program designed to ensure eye and vision care becomes an essential part of infant wellness.

Under this program, Dr. Easterling provides a comprehensive infant eye assessment between 6 and 12 months of age as a no-cost public service.

Dr. Easterling will test for the following:

  • excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
  • eye movement ability
  • eye health problems

These problems are not common, but it is important to identify children who have them at this young age. Vision development and eye health problems are easier to correct if treatment begins early.

Many eye conditions have no symptoms that can be identified by a parent or in a well baby check-up. Early detection is the best way to make sure your child has healthy eyes and appropriate development of vision.

Why should I take my baby to an InfantSEE provider?

Many eye problems emerge from conditions that can be identified by an eye doctor in the infant’s first year of life. One in every 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems. Moreover, many children at risk for eye and vision problems are not being identified at an early age, when many of those problems might be prevented or more easily corrected.

Approximately 3.9 million children were born in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In approximately 4 percent, strabismus will develop, and amblyopia will develop in 3 percent. This equates to as many as 200,000 infants born each year who are at risk for serious eye and vision problems.

Early intervention is critical to successful and cost-effective treatment. Despite the nation’s present system of preschool vision screening, the importance of periodic professional eye and vision assessments is widely overlooked.

What is the optometrist looking for during an assessment?

Some eye conditions are strongly linked to family history, so the first step for the optometrist is to compile a history on the child.

Assessment of visual acuity for infants and toddlers may include tests to assess that the infant can fix his eyes on an object and follow the object, or at which objects the baby prefers to look, and at what distances.

The doctor may use lenses and light to assess the refractive status, or how the eye responds to particular targets.

Using her hands, a light, or a toy, the optometrist catches the baby’s attention and observes how the baby’s eye movement follows the object.

By covering one eye at a time, the optometrist gathers information about the eye muscles, eye alignment and binocular potential.

The optometrist will examine the eye’s structure as well as eyelids, tear ducts, and other parts of the eye for overall eye health.

Call Eye Center, Inc. today at 941-756-2020 to schedule your InfantSEE appointment with Dr. Easterling.