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InfantSEE Eye Exams

Do you know when your infant should have their first eye exam?

I find that many parents don’t know about the InfantSEE program. With this national program, you can get an eye exam for no charge for your infant under 1 year of age! Through this program, parents can take their infant to a participating InfantSEE provider (with no obligation) for a vision assessment.

How do I schedule an eye exam for my infant?

The doctors at Vision Source Mandan participate in the InfantSEE program. All you have to do is call our office at 701-663-0313 and schedule an appointment. We prefer to see infants for the first time when they are about 6 to 7 months of age. Of course, we can see them through the program up until their first birthday but it is a little easier to examine a 6-month-old than an active 11-month-old!

If no problems are detected, the next eye examination should be around age 3, and then again before they begin kindergarten at age 5. Then eye exams should occur every year annually. If a problem is detected, we will let the parents know when we would like them to return.

Your infant will be dilated during their InfantSEE eye exam, so plan to spend at least an hour at our office.

What is the purpose of InfantSEE?

One of the reasons the InfantSEE program was started is to catch a very rare but very serious eye condition called retinoblastoma. It is a cancerous tumor that grows inside the eye that can be fatal in some cases. It usually presents before the age of 5, but can be present at birth in infants.

Another reason the InfantSEE program was started was to make sure infants are on track with their visual development. Most cases of a “lazy eye” or amblyopia are completely preventable with proper early treatment.

There are many visual things we can check during the exam without actually asking the baby a single question!

  • We can roughly estimate visual acuity, using preferential looking.
  • We can estimate eye alignment.
  • We can estimate refractive error. (Fun fact: Babies are born farsighted! On average +2.00 D)
  • We can examine eye health.

Many of these things cannot be done at the pediatrician’s office or through vision screenings. Trust your optometrist (your eye doctor) to check your child!


Top image used with permission from Traci Adamson Photography. Image has been cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.