Sharon Berger OD: Look at that little birdy. Good job. He's a little bit far-sighted which is normal.
Narrator: Infant eye screenings are normally done as part of a standard pediatric exam. But this baby's eyes are being evaluated by an eye specialist—an optometrist.
Sharon Berger OD: It certainly is worth the while with the incidences of vision problems in this country,that we do one full comprehensive exam in the first year of life and again at age three and at age five and then during the school years to monitor any vision changes.
Eye Doctor: She's showing a little bit of astigmatism too.
Narrator: Not all visual abnormalities in young children are cause for concern,
: but eye doctors are on the lookout for things like strabismus (STRA-BIS-MUS), or crossed eyes, or amblyopia (AM-BLEE-O-P-AH), or lazy eye.Untreated, such conditions can seriously impair vision later on…as well as lead to learning difficulties in school.
Sharon Berger OD Optometrist: If you find that during that infant exam that the two eyes are not the same then you have the potential of a problem.And that child needs to be watched, or maybe if things don't clear up on their own, maybe even prescribed glasses at an early age to correct a lazy eye before we get a lazy eye.
Narrator: Recent surveys show many parents are unaware that an early eye exam could decrease the chances of future vision problems.So the American Optometric Association has partnered with Johnson and Johnson's Vision Care Institute to form Infantsee,a nation-wide public health program that allows children between 6 and 12 months to have a comprehensive eye exam free of charge.
Scott Jens, OD, FAAO: Roughly seven-thousand american optometric association doctors of optometry have enrolled to participate in the InfantSEE program.
Narrator: The program is gaining momentum and has attracted the support of former president Jimmy Carter.
Jimmy Carter, Former U.S. President: It can literally change your child's vision of the future.
Narrator: You can find an eye care specialist in your area who performs these exams by going to the Infantsee web site.For WebMD, I'm Damon Meharg.