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InfantSEE Program

baby_with_glasseslogo_infant_seeThe InfantSEE Program…

…is supported and funded by the American Optometric Association and provides free infant vision screenings at participating InfantSEE practices. Vision Care Consultants is proud to be one of the leading practices involved in, and supporting the InfantSEE Program.

When do babies begin to see?

family_with_babyIn the past it was believed that normal vision was not obtained until a child was a few years old at the earliest. The reason for this was that we did not have the testing methods to properly measure visual function of the very young, non-verbal infant. We now know that infants develop normal fully-grown levels of vision by the age of 6-months! This includes the ability to see 20/20, normal color perception, normal eye muscle movements, and coordinated eye teaming or binocular vision — skills every child needs for school, sports and more. Sophisticated tests, including measurements of brain wave function in response to visual stimuli, prove this fact.

Even though these functions are established at this early point in time, the visual system is still very “plastic” and is influenced by environmental factors over the coming few years. This is known as the “critical period” of vision development. During the first 4 to 6 years of life normal, symmetric, binocular vision is very important for the development of good vision. During this time problems like strabismus (eye turns) and amblyopia (lazy eye) can develop if the two eyes are not properly and symmetrically focused. If these eye conditions are detected early, treatment is highly successful.

At what age should an infant be first examined?

In order to detect the presence of high refractive errors (high nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) or the presence of a large difference in prescription between the two eyes (anisometropia) which can lead or contribute to strabismus and amblyopia, our pediatric specialists at Vision Care Consultants suggest a baseline infant examination prior to the first birthday (age 9 months is highly useful). At this age babies are very cooperative in terms of the eye exam. Trying to examine a 2 year old is far more difficult than examining a 9 month old! We are able to also detect the presence of any congenital eye health problems at that time. The use of eye drops to control focusing of the eyes during the exam and to properly examine the retina and optic nerve is common. Based on the results of the infant eye examination, we will suggest either a treatment plan or if none is necessary then we can determine when the next exam should be scheduled.

When is the next exam suggested for my child if all is well with their infant eye examination?

three_young_siblingsIf everything was normal during the infant exam prior to age 1, or if that visit was missed and all appears to be normal, we suggest the next pediatric eye examination at age 3 to 5, prior to entering kindergarten. Depending on those results our pediatric specialists at Vision Care Consultants will make recommendations for subsequent eye examinations.

What about my Pediatrician examining my child’s eyes?

The eye examination that is done at the pediatrician’s office will only discover grossly abnormal eye problems. Often those components that can result in amblyopia are missed during this admittedly simplified examination. For older children, problems in the areas of binocular vision and near focusing are never addressed during the pediatrician visit. Although better than nothing, we should not consider the pediatrician’s evaluation of the eyes a true eye examination. A comprehensive infant and pediatric eye examination by specially trained pediatric specialists, like those at Vision Care Consultants, is a small investment in your child’s visual welfare.

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VISION CARE CONSULTANTS COVID-19 CDC COMPLIANCE STATEMENT

Eyecare services are currently available for you, your children and family. However, please consult our Google Business page or call us for our current hours of operation. We want to advise you about the procedures and efforts that we are making to address the challenges regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus. (Read more)

Our efforts you can expect at our practice:

  • Staggered appointment times with minimal to no wait times in our reception area. Patients may also check in and wait outside in their cars to be called in for exam.
  • Following guidelines based upon medical evidence and closely monitoring the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Educating our doctors and staff on preventative measures provided by the CDC with daily staff meeting updates.
  • Increasing the frequency and extent of our cleaning practices, such as additional wipe downs of all hard surfaces including the front desk, examination rooms after every exam and additional cleaning for all “patient touch points” (door handles, eyeglasses, counter tops, and other high-touch surfaces).
  • Providing additional resources that are available to patients and employees including hand sanitizers, extra soap and paper towels at all sinks and restrooms.
  • Implementing heightened sanitation and hand-washing procedures for all staff.

OUR PATIENT REQUEST:

  • Only bring scheduled patients to the office (1-Accompanied adult per minor or elderly patient).

  • If you recently traveled to any of the high risk countries within the past 30 days, please, delay & reschedule your appointment for 30 days after you returned from your travel.

  • If you have any flu-like symptoms (fever, chills body aches, & trouble breathing), please, delay your appointment for 30 days.

  • If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, and you arrive at our office, we will kindly ask you to leave & reschedule your appointment

  • Please notify us as soon as possible if you need to reschedule your appointment. This allows us to release your reserved time to another patient.

With appropriate precautions we will together address this challenge and modify behaviors that will make us better prepared to face such challenges in the future. Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Brawley, Dr. Friederich, Dr. Seibel, Dr. Wehner & Staff at Vision Care Consultants