Saturday, July 30, 2011

Infant, Toddler & Preschool Vision Testing

Everyone knows the earlier a problem can be identified the more successful will be the outcome.  That is why dental and medical exams are required before going to school.  Despite this understanding, the visual system is often forgotten.  It is the most important system for learning (most researchers indicate 75-80% of learning occurs via the visual system), yet most children do not have a formal visual examination until they are school age.  Due to this lack of care, children often adapt to the level of vision they have.  Parents often never suspect a problem, even a serious one.
Obvious problems such as strabismus (crossed or wall eye) are usually identified by your pediatrician.   However there are too many cases of lazy eye that are NOT detected by pediatrcian screenings.  Many of these problems also are not identified with school screenings.  This results in parents feeling secure that all is fine from a visual perspective.  NOT TRUE!!  The reality is approximately one child in every classroom suffers from lazy eye and associated learning difficulties such a problems with reading comprehension.

InfantSEE® can be the answer for a number of these kids.  This is a national program administered by the American Optometric Association.  It was originally started in partnership with Jimmy Carter.  A one-time, comprehensive eye assessment is provided to infants in their first year of life at no cost regardless of income.  Click on InfantSEE® for further information.  Call us to schedule an exam for your baby.

--James B. Mayer, OD, FCOVD
     Agape Learning & Optometry Center
     Thousand Oaks, CA