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InfantSEE® Program Background

Optometry Cares - The AOA Foundation and Johnson & Johnson Vision partnered to create InfantSEE, a no-cost public health program developed to provide professional eye care for infants nationwide. Through InfantSEE, optometrists provide a one-time, comprehensive eye assessment to infants in their first year of life, offering early detection of potential eye and vision problems at no cost regardless of income.

The InfantSEE program:

  • Provides no-cost access to an eye-care doctor who has the instruments and resources not available to general-care doctors like pediatricians and family physicians
  • Detects potential problems that, if undetected, may lead to learning and developmental issues later
  • Gives new parents the peace of mind that their infant’s vision is developing properly

Prevalence of Vision Problems and Eye Diseases That Will Develop in Children

  • 1 in 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed vision problems[i]
  • 1 in 30 children will be affected by amblyopia – often referred to as lazy eye – a leading cause of vision loss in people younger than 45 years[ii]
  • 1 in 25 will develop strabismus – more commonly known as crossed-eyes – a risk factor for amblyopia[iii]
  • 1 in 33 will show significant refractive error such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism[iv]
  • 1 in 100 will exhibit evidence of eye disease – e.g. glaucoma[v]
  • 1 in 20,000 children have retinoblastoma (intraocular cancer) the seventh most common pediatric cancer[vi]

Clinical Data Demonstrating the Need for InfantSEE

  • A study reported by the American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) in 1999 compared two groups of 8-year-olds for amblyopia[vii]
    • One group of 808 children had been screened between the ages of 12 and 30 months and provided appropriate treatment[viii]
    • The other 782 children from the same community did not receive the infant screening[ix]
    • At age 8, the group that did not receive the infant screening was 17 times more likely to have amblyopia[x]
  • The Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC) reported that intensive screening performed 6 times between ages 8 months and 37 months by an eye care professional led to a decrease in[xi]:
    • Amblyopia, which was three times less likely after treatment – from 1.8 percent to 0.6 percent [xii]
    • Residual amblyopia from 25 percent to 7.5 percent after treatment[xiii]
  • Current red reflex screening appears to be ineffective in detecting early retinoblastoma as over 80 percent of patients had their presenting sign detected by a family member or friend[xiv]
  • Untreated amblyopia costs the U.S. nearly $7.4 billion in earning power each year. There is a return of $22 for each dollar spent on amblyopia diagnosis and treatment [xv]


To learn more about InfantSEE call toll-free (888) 396-EYES (3937) or visit www.infantsee.org.

The American Optometric Association, Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation and the InfantSEE & Children's Vision Committee thank you for being a part of InfantSEE.  Together, we make a difference in the quality of sight-and life-of our youngest patients.

[i] American Optometric Association. Pediatric eye and vision examination. 2nd ed. St. Louis (MO): American Optometric Association; 2002.

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Ibid

[v] Ibid

[vi] Abrahamson DH, Beaverson K, Sangani P, Vora RA, Lee TC, Hochberg, HM, Kirszrot J, Ranjithan M. Screening for Retinoblastoma: Presenting Signs as Prognosticators of Patient and Ocular Survival. Pediatrics. December 2003; Vol. 112 No. 6: pp 1248-1255

[vii] Eibschitz-Tsimboni et al. Early Screening for Amblyogenic Risk Factors Lowers the Prevalence and Severity of Amblyopia. Journal of AAPOS. August 2000; Vol 4 number 4: 194-199

[viii] Ibid

[ix] Ibid

[x] Ibid

[xi] Williams C, Harrad RA, Sparrow JM,. Screening for amblyopia in preschool children; results of a population based, randomized controlled trial. ALSPAC Study Team. Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood. Ophthlmic Epidemiol. 2001;8: 279-295

[xii] Ibid

[xiii] U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Visual Impairment in Children Younger Than Age 5 Years; Recommendation Statement. Ann Fam Med 2004;2:263-266

[xiv] Abrahamson DH, Beaverson K, Sangani P, Vora RA, Lee TC, Hochberg, HM, Kirszrot J, Ranjithan M. Screening for Retinoblastoma: Presenting Signs as Prognosticators of Patient and Ocular Survival. Pediatrics. December 2003; Vol. 112 No. 6: pp 1248-1255

[xv] Membreno JH, Brown MM, Brown GC, Sharma S, Beauchamp GR. A Cost Analysis of Therapy for Amblyopia. Ophthalmology. December 2002; Volume 109, Number 12: pp2265-2271

The mission of Optometry Cares - The AOA Foundation is to expand eye care awareness, education and research and access to eye health and vision care to everyone in the United States in order to enhance human performance and quality of life.

Optometry Cares - The AOA Foundation supports VISION USA, InfantSEE, the Scholarship Fund, the National Optometry Hall of Fame, Healthy Eyes Healthy Children Community Grants, the Archives & Museum of Optometry and Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief.

InfantSEE® Program Sponsors

Call InfantSEE® Toll Free
888-396-EYES (3937)
or 314-983-4160