If you or a family member have strabismus, it is even more important that you provide your child with an eye exam by a qualified examiner as soon as possible. Strabismus tends to run in families.
I’m excited to share that the American Optometric Association launched a new program last summer called InfantSEE. They are encouraging parents to “include a trip to the optometrist in the list of well-baby check-ups.” Recommendations from AOA are that babies should receive their first eye exam between 6 and 12 months of age.
The Parent’s Center of the AOA InfantSEE website offers ways to develop healthy vision in infants, a free InfantSEE newsletter, Q&A, and much more. Be sure to check it out!
WebMD has provided an interesting video of an InfantSEE eye exam in progress. “Not all visual abnormalities in young children are cause for concern,” according the the video. But strabismus and amblyopia are especially singled out as concerns that need to be monitored and treated if they do not clear up on their own.
To find an InfantSEE doctor in your area, click here.
Operation Bright Start, with a pilot program which began in 1999, was a forerunner to the new InfantSee program. The Operation Bright Start link was apparently abandoned and picked up by a different group. But you can read about the early beginnings of this program in Review of Optometry, November 2000.
The InfantSEE exam is free for babies during their first 12 months. If your child is older than 12 months and has never had an eye exam, the best place to start would probably be with a Behavioral or Developmental Optometrist who participates in the InfantSEE program. These doctors are specially trained in detecting and treating strabismus and other eye problems in infants and children as well as adults.
If you know of a similar resource for those outside America, please post it in the comments section here or email me using the link at the bottom of this page.
Photo credit: Ivan Philipov