Have your infant's eyes been examined? - AmericaNowNews.com

Have your infant's eyes been examined?

Not very many parents take their babies to the eye doctor before their first birthday. They should.

Optometrist Cynthia Baker recalls the day she discovered that 11-month old Emory had cataracts. Like all newborns, his eyes were checked before he left the hospital, but his cataracts weren't advanced enough to see until his mother brought him in for a thorough eye exam.

"Instead of the lens being clear, there was a very opaque spot like a smudge on the lens," says Baker.

Emory had surgery to remove his cataracts. Now, with his tiny contacts, the world he sees is crystal clear. If not for his 11-month eye appointment, he wouldn't have been so lucky.

"The cataracts would get more dense and since his brain is developing, he wouldn't be able to get a clear picture," Baker continues.

Without treatment, Emory may have gotten behind in developing basic skills like identifying objects, letters or learning to read. He could even have had permanent vision loss. Dr. Baker worries that parents of other children like Emory won't get their children's eyes checked before their first birthday. She is part of an initiative called Infant See -- an initiative put together by optometrists who want to screen children between 6 and 12 months old.

"The best part about Infant See is that it is free regardless of insurance or the family's ability to pay," says Baker.

For Emory and other children with potentially severe vision problems, a deal like that is nothing short of priceless.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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