A mother's or father's love is not always enough. Parents often ignore their little one's eyes, with tragic consequences.
Childhood blindness is heartbreaking, and yet so few infants are tested for any form of early eyesight issues or disease, from cancer to crossed eyes.
The stats are shocking--- ten percent of children in the U.S., claimed to be one of the richest nations on earth, have undetected vision problems, often leading to blindness.
The American Optometric Association's (AOA) annual Eye-Q® survey reports that only 19% of US parents even took taking their infant for a comprehensive eye assessment.
Worse, perhaps, is that a whopping 33% of US parents wait until their child is almost 2 years old. And 26% wait until their child is 5 or even older!
Dr. Glen Steele, optometrist and chair of the AOA InfantSEE® committee, said: "Optometrists have the clinical background and expertise to detect eye and vision problems--- as well as ensure your baby has healthy eyes, and their vision is developing appropriately."
Few parents know that cancer can inflict their infant's eyes.
Beyond cancers, other infant eye ailments are 'lazy eye' (amblyopia), crossed eyes, nearsightedness and farsightedness-- these can ALL be identified and given early treatment.
"Early intervention is essential for maintaining infant eye and vision health," said Dr. Steele. "Most conditions are easier to treat when caught early."
The AOA recommends that infants have an InfantSEE® assessment before their first birthday. Young children need comprehensive eye exams at age three, and before starting school, and then every two years.
Often, once a problem is noticed by a parent, its too late--- the child will become blind for life. Testing and preventative treatment can save the sight of so many!
Dr Steele added: "It is critical that infants undergo a comprehensive eye assessment from an optometrist by the time they turn a year old."