Optometrists Offer No-Cost Eyes Assessments

Optometrists Offer No-Cost Eye Assessments through InfantSEE® Initiative

“I strongly encourage all parents with babies to visit an optometrist for an InfantSEE® assessment during the first year of their child’s life, and I applaud AOA for providing this opportunity.”

Former President Jimmy Carter, June 8, 2005

“I commend the American Optometric Association for their efforts to improve the health and well being of all Americans.”

Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, June 24, 2005

“When I say that InfantSEE® saved her life, it really did.”

Stacey Zellers, speaking about her infant daughter Gracie whose life was saved after an InfantSEE® assessment discovered a retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer in the eye, September 4, 2006.

In an effort to encourage infant eye and vision assessments and ensure they are accessible to everyone, the American Optometric Association Foundation for Science, Education, and Charity (AOAF), the American Optometric Association (AOA), and The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., have partnered to create InfantSEE® – a no-cost public health program developed to provide professional eye care for infants nationwide.

Through InfantSEE®, optometrists in communities in all 50 states are providing comprehensive eye assessments to infants in their first year of life, usually between the ages of 6 and 12 months, offering early detection of potential eye and vision problems at no cost, regardless of income or ability to pay.

The program’s objectives:

  1. Identify and treat risk factors that may have adverse effects on eye and vision health.
  2. Reduce the impact of amblyopia (presently 1 in 30) and other conditions that may lead to impairments and/or loss of sight, or may also affect the child’s spatial and cognitive development.
  3. Earlier detection of retinoblastoma; a potentially fatal cancer that affects 1 in 20,000 children each year.
  4. Educate parents about the importance of eye care for their children.

To date, there are 7,500 members of the American Optometric Association enrolled as InfantSEE® providers. Since the program’s launch, it is estimated that 80,000 babies have been seen. Our goals for 2007 are to further expand the program and to perform double the number of InfantSEE® assessments as in 2006.

Patients may find more information and locate a provider in their area by visiting www.infantsee.org, clicking on the icon “Find an InfantSEE® Doctor” at the top of the page and entering their own zip code. Those who do not have access to the Internet may call toll-free, 888-396-EYES (3937), to obtain a list of providers in their area.

Since it was launched by former President Carter and Dr. Scott Jens on NBC’s Today Show in 2005, InfantSEE® and InfantSEE® success stories have been featured in:

USA Today
American Baby
New York 1 / CNN
Baby Talk
Reuters Health

In addition, InfantSEE® has been endorsed by, or recognized with an award by, the following organizations:

American College of Nurse Midwives
American Public Health Association
American Society of Association Executives
Prevent Blindness America
Lamaze International