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Infantsee LogoDr. Andréane Fagala is one of 7,000 optometrists nationwide who are participating in InfantSEE™, an AOA public health program that provides complimentary professional eye exams for infants.

Under this program, Dr. Fagala provides a one-time, comprehensive eye health and vision assessment for infants aged 6 months to 12 months. This is a critical age for infant vision and eye development. One in every ten children is at-risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems by the time they by age eighteen. Early detection of problems can prevent or reduce the threat of permanent vision impairment and eye health issues.

Many people think that if their children have had a vision screening at their child’s school or pediatrician’s office that their child has had an ‘eye exam’. Significant eye and vision disorders are typically not detected by school or pediatrician eye screenings. Even early retinoblastoma (the seventh most common pediatric cancer) is detected more than 80 percent of the time by a family member or friend rather than by a routine well-care baby screening.

In order to rule out serious eye conditions, drops or a spray to dilate the baby’s pupils will be used in the InfantSEE™ examination. Hand held instruments will also be used to rule out vision problems. All testing is “objective”, in that results are obtained by Dr. Fagala’s measurements and are not dependent on the baby’s responses. This important part of the assessment is done to rule out amblyopia, often referred to as “lazy eye”, which if not detected can retard normal vision development.

Although infants cannot respond verbally, the first year of life is an ideal time to conduct an in-depth eye evaluation and InfantSEE™ accomplishes this. Children aged 6-12 months do not yet fear doctor visits and find the assessment painless and often enjoyable. Typically, infants sit on their parent’s lap during the InfantSee assessment.

“I’m very proud to be involved in InfantSEE™ to ensure healthy vision for our community’s infants,” says Dr. Fagala. “I have always enjoyed working with children and this program allows me to begin evaluating them at a very young age, providing the opportunity of detecting ocular developmental problems earlier.”

To learn more about InfantSEE™, call our office and visit www.infantsee.org.

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