Vistakon support furthers progress of InfantSEE® program

May 7, 2012

Throughout the country, urban or rural, affluent or poor, babies have been identified through the InfantSEE® program who were not otherwise diagnosed with vision problems. The program is continuing its mission of ensuring that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life thanks to the ongoing support of The Vision Care Institute™, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson company.

Under this program, volunteer AOA optometrists provide comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infants within the first year of life regardless of a family’s income or access to insurance coverage. There are 7,667 InfantSEE® providers across the country.

“Together with the AOA and thousands of volunteer optometrists, we are helping parents recognize the importance of early eye exams and setting in place habits that will lead to a lifetime of healthy vision,” said W. Lee Ball, O.D., associate director, Professional Affairs, Vistakon® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

Data show 10 percent of babies seen have risk factors and need follow-up care, which is very significant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant awarded to InfantSEE® allowed the program to show the incidence of problems was significantly greater in minority and lower socioeconomic communities.

Even when identified, these babies and their families often need guidance and assistance in finding resources to care for the problems and conditions identified.

Since the inception of the program, nearly 85,000 babies have been seen, and nearly 9,000 have been identified with problems (one in 10).

“Since the inception of InfantSEE® in 2005, The Vision Care Institute™ has committed more than $3 million to this vital public health program,” said Dr. Ball. “Educating the public about the importance of eye care exams as an integral part of health care at all ages and stages of life is a core component of our educational efforts.”

At least eight cases of retinoblastoma and 20 cases of congenital cataract have had their initial diagnosis through the InfantSEE® program.

Many other babies have been on a path of developmental delay when, in fact, it was a vision issue that was interfering with overall development.

In 2007, Alaina Soza was found to have +12.00 D of hyperopia at an InfantSEE® workshop. Little Alaina was not performing up to her expected level of development during her early life. It was determined that she had a marked amount of farsightedness that prevented her from knowing where things were around her to reach for them. After receiving her glasses, most of her developmental issues were resolved.

InfantSEE® providers continue to see patients at 4 and 5 years of age who are in need of care that, if provided at an earlier age, would have prevented many days of frustration for the parent.

“The ongoing support from Johnson and Johnson Vision Care has provided InfantSEE® the infrastructure that supported the overall development of the program,” said Glen Steele, O.D., chair of the InfantSEE® Committee. “As we have developed our roots, their support has allowed us to link with agencies and organizations with similar interests in babies in order to identify problems and conditions at the earliest possible level.”

InfantSEE® statistics

Babies Indentified with Problems 8,963
Problems Identified 11,991
Visual Acuity 1,387
Ocular Motility 781
Binocularity 2,530
Refractive Status* 5,133
Ocular Health 2,160
*Hyperopia, Myopia, Astigmatism, Anisometropia

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