Monday, March 5, 2012

Most people don't know about the critical eye exam for babies in their first year of life

A survey conducted in the United States shows that most adults are unaware that 10 percent of infants have an undetected vision problem, which, if left untreated, could become serious and lead to other problems. 

It is recommended that a child go to an optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination before the age of one.  However, only 18 percent of parents who participated in the American Optometric Association's American Eye-Q survey reported taking their child to an eye doctor before the child's first birthday. 

Optometrists have special tests for babies to diagnose eye conditions, which allow babies to be examined before they can read or even speak.  It is recommended that you take your baby to the optometrist for her first eye examination at six months of age. 

An infant's visual development is critical between six and 12 months of age.  However, it is difficult to notice vision problems in infants without a thorough, comprehensive eye exam. Even if a child is hitting all his or her developmental milestones and not showing any obvious signs of problems, there could still be issues with the child's vision. Many vision problems are most effectively treated if caught early in life.  Moreover, poor vision in infants can impair development in other respects as the infant grows.

The survey indicated most parents were aware that lazy eye (amblyopia) and crossed eyes (strabismus) could be detected in infants but less than one-third were aware that cancer, farsightedness and nearsightedness could also be detected during an infant exam.

To learn more about kids' vision care guildelines click here.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /