Pediatric optometrists provide free eye exams for babies

Johnson & Johnson funds the InfantSEE program

InfantSEE provides free eye exams for babies nationwide.
InfantSEE provides free eye exams for babies nationwide. (InfantSEE)

Lexi Katzman's parents wear glasses. They know that she may need them one day too, so they are taking advantage of a free eye exam program available in South Florida.

Optometrists warn that many eye conditions don't have symptoms that a regular medical check-up can detect, so it's important for babies to start getting eye exams when they are six-months-old.

"It's critical for me to see and get my hands on every baby I can to make sure they are going in the right direction," said Dr. Yin Tea, a Nova Southeastern University pediatric optometrist.

Tea is one of several pediatric optometrists in South Florida who participate in InfantSEE program to offer free exams. The American Optometric Association and the Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson have been running it since 2005.

Optometrists say vision development and eye health programs are easier to correct if treatment begins early.

"I want to assess them and catch problems, so it won't affect the quality of life later." Tea said.

During a comprehensive exam for infants, Tea said, he uses tools to assess eye teaming skills, focus, and whether one eye is different than the other.

To find a pediatric optometrist participating in the InfantSEE program search on the web by clicking on this link or call 1-888-396-3937.