2007 InfantSEE(R) Data Magnifies The Need For Early Eye And Vision Screenings For Infants, According To American Optometric Association

Eye assessments from one in nine
infants have shown an overall need for concern, according to new data
collected by the American Optometric Association (AOA) via 10,000
InfantSEE(R) assessments conducted during 2006 and 2007. The overall need
for concern has increased from one in 14 last year and clearly reveals a
growing need for early vision examination in infants.

The data also showed that the two groups at greatest risk for abnormal
prescription status were those born prematurely and those from ethnic
minority backgrounds.

InfantSEE(R), a public health program developed by the AOA in
partnership with The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision
Care, Inc., was designed to provide professional eye care for infants
nationwide at no cost regardless of family income. The program launched in
2005 with support from former President Jimmy Carter, honorary national
chair and spokesman. To date an estimated 125,000 to 150,000 babies have
had their eye health and vision assessed.

“These results magnify the growing need for early eye and vision
assessments for infants, particularly in premature and minority babies,”
said Scott Jens, O.D., F.A.A.O. and InfantSEE(R) chairman. “InfantSEE is
growing to meet that need, and I encourage all parents to take their babies
to any of the more than 7,600 optometrists nationwide who provide InfantSEE
assessments to detect the risk for potential eye and vision problems.”

According to this year’s data the majority of vision problems detected
include retinoblastoma (eye cancer), severe hyperopia (farsightedness),
myopia (nearsightedness), congenital glaucoma and congenital cataract.

Public health experts agree that visual development is most dramatic
between 6 and 12 months of age and that early detection can prevent and
help reduce the threat of serious vision impairments. In fact, one in every
10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems.

InfantSEE(R) assessments are complementary to the routine well-care
exams a baby receives from a pediatrician or family physician. Infants have
long received eye screenings for strabismus and leukocoria from their
trusted pediatricians as part of a full well-care check-up to detect a host
of large- scope health problems. Many cases of successful intervention have
resulted from this process. However, optometrists have the time to perform
a comprehensive eye and vision assessment, the instrumentation to identify
areas of risk that are critical to a child’s vision development and the
skills to identify conditions that might not be detected in a routine
pediatric wellness exam and that may need to be monitored, immediately
treated or referred to a pediatric eye specialist. InfantSEE(R) aims to
detect more subtle problems earlier, so infants can be managed by
optometrists, ophthalmologists or other medical specialists as necessary.

Although infants cannot respond verbally, the first year of life is an
ideal time to conduct an extensive eye assessment. Not only is this a
critical time for eye and vision development, but generally children at
this age do not yet fear doctor visits and find the assessment painless and
often enjoyable. Typically, infants sit on their parent’s lap during the
assessment, in which the optometrist uses lights and other hand-held
objects to check that their eyes are working together and that there are no
significant refractive or health issues that will impede proper vision

To learn more about InfantSEE(R), visit InfantSEE.

About the American Optometric Association

American Optometric Association doctors of optometry are highly
qualified, trained doctors, on the frontline of eye health and vision care,
who examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and disorders of the eye.
In addition to providing eye and vision care, optometrists play a major
role in an individual’s overall health and well-being by detecting systemic
diseases. Doctors of optometry have the skills and training to provide more
than two- thirds of all primary eye care in the United States. The American
Optometric Association represents more than 34,000 doctors of optometry,
optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians in nearly
6,500 communities across the country. For more information, visit

About The Vision Care Institute

The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. is an
innovative educational resource created to prepare optometry students for a
successful transition into the real world of delivering quality eye care,
as well as to assist practicing Eye Care Professionals in the growth and
development of their practice. The state-of-the-art facility gives
participants a rare opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the
latest in vision diagnostic and treatment technologies through hands-on
contact lens instruction. Besides clinical training, participants also
concentrate on communication skills. The curriculum, taught by leading eye
care practitioners from around the country, gives participants the skills
and confidence necessary to excel in today’s professional practice. The
Vision Care Institute has hosted students from all 19 of the schools and
colleges of optometry throughout North America at its headquarters in
Jacksonville, Florida.

American Optometric Association