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Madison-Area Optometrists Partner With Senator Kohl in Improving Infant Eye and Vision Care
Date:1/22/2009

. However, only 14 percent of children from infancy to age six have had a comprehensive eye assessment from an eye care professional. In Madison and surrounding areas, great strides are being made to ensure that potential eye and vision problems are detected early. Infant eye assessments have been available in the Madison area since the InfantSEE(R) program launched in 2005.

"Many parents are surprised to learn that the first year of life is one of the most critical stages of a child's visual development," said Dr. Scott Jens, a Madison-area optometrist and chairman of InfantSEE(R). "It's the ideal time to detect eye and vision problems before these conditions worsen or cause developmental delays."

The program launched in 2005 with support from former President Jimmy Carter, honorary national chair. Nearly 8,000 optometrists nationwide volunteer their time to provide assessments to babies in their communities. In 2007, the majority of vision problems detected include retinoblastoma (eye cancer), severe hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), congenital glaucoma and congenital cataract.

"There was no specific reason to believe that my son had any vision or eye health problems, but I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that my son was healthy and developing well," said Kara Webber Schiro, a Madison mother whose son had an InfantSEE(R) assessment. "The InfantSEE(R) assessment gave me peace of mind. It is my hope that in the near future, a visit to an optometrist will become as important to parents as a routine well-care exam that an infant receives."

To continue to improve infant eye assessment rates in South Central Wisconsin, the following eye care providers will offer no-cost InfantSEE(R) eye assessments from January 26 to 30, by appointment:

    BRODHEAD
    Dr. Gene Prudhon
    1005 17th St.
    608-897-2128

    DEFOREST
    Dr. Trixie Ea
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SOURCE American Optometric Association; The Vision Care Institute
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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