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2007 InfantSEE(R) Data Magnifies the Need for Early Eye and Vision Screenings for Infants, According to American Optometric Association
Date:10/26/2007

Overall Need for Concern Increases to One in Nine Infants, Especially in

Premature and Minority Babies

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 red
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SOURCE American Optometric Association
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