Southern California Babies Get Free Eye Exams at InfantSEE Day
Los Angeles, CA (August 18, 2011) Nearly a dozen Southern California babies under the age of one received free comprehensive eye exams at the Southern California College of Optometry's (SCCO's) Eye Care Center at InfantSEE day on Saturday, July 30. The InfantSEE program was sponsored by SCCO in cooperation with the California Optometric Association (COA) and the American Optometric Association (AOA).
Healthy eyes and good vision play a critical role in how infants and children learn and develop. It is important to detect any problems early to ensure babies have the opportunity to develop normal visual acuity.
Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States and the most prevalent handicapping condition during childhood. According to The Eye Care Center, one in 10 children are at risk from undiagnosed vision problems.
At about six months of age, parents should take their baby to the optometrist for his or her first thorough eye exam. Optometrists test for presence of eye turn, excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, eye movement ability, and eye health problems.
“One of the nine infants that I saw came in for a follow-up appointment after we found significant refractive error (astigmatism) in both eyes,” said Angela Chen, O.D., M.S., assistant professor at SCCO. “If the refractive error had not been detected and treated, this baby would likely develop amblyopia (lazy eye). We plan on monitoring her vision in the following months.”
“We are proud to give back to our community and the InfantSEE program provides a great way to do that and to educate parents about the importance of having their infant's eyes evaluated," stated SCCO Associate Professor and Assistant Dean, Clinical Education Harue Marsden, O.D., M.S. "Healthy eyes and good vision are critical to each child's development." Dr. Marsden is past president of the California Optometric Association.
In 2005, the American Optometric Association created InfantSEE, a public health program that was designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes and integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life. Participating optometrists provide a comprehensive infant eye assessment between six and 12 months of age as a no-cost public service under this program, which offers early detection of potential eye and vision problems.
About the California Optometric Association
Established in 1899, the California Optometric Association is California's oldest organized community for optometrists. Representing optometrists thoughout the state, COA is dedicated to ensuring the highest quality of health care for the public through the advancement of optometry. Learn more at www.coavision.org, www.Facebook.com/CaliforniaOptometric and www.Twitter.com/COA_Vision.