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InfantSee Vision Screenings for Infants 6 to 12 Months of Age

Most people are surprised to hear that the American Optometric Association recommends eye exams to begin at six months of age. By six months, your child has met several important developmental milestones. At birth, the eyes begin to focus about a foot away from the child, mostly looking at faces. Around two months old, the child is learning to look around. At this point, the eyes don’t always coordinate well together. Your child should be able to track moving objects by four months old and begin reaching for things. As their eye hand coordination improves, they will become more accurate in reaching for things. Continue reading

AOA School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision

The American Optometric Association recently held a School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision in which doctors, nurses, educators and advocates for children’s health gathered to examine learning-related vision issues that are keeping children from achieving in the classroom. This summit was created to address the concerns that our current system is flawed and a policy shift is needed. The problem is that currently, the U.S. educational system and some health care providers rely heavily on vision screenings to discover the kids that need comprehensive exams. These screenings do catch some types of vision problems but they can miss about 75% of those children that have learning-related vision problems. Detecting these vision problems is very important as “studies show that much of what children learn comes though vision, and undetected and untreated eye and vision disorders in children, such as amblyopia and strabismus, can result in vision loss, additional costly treatments, delayed reading and poorer outcomes in school.”

The take-home statement that the summit produced is that comprehensive eye exams must serve as the foundation to determine school readiness in school-aged children. Another important point established at this meeting is the establishment of the link between healthy vision and classroom learning.

This historic summit is an important step in ensuring that children receive the proper detection and treatment of vision problems before they become detrimental to their learning. Here at Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, we are excited to see these changes being made, since it has been our goal from the beginning to not only catch vision problems at an early stage, evidenced by the InfantSEE program that we offer that provides free eye exams to infants between the age of 6 months and 1 year of age, but to also treat certain types of problems through our extensive one-on-one vision therapy program.

If you have any questions regarding the InfantSEE program, vision therapy program, or would like to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child before they start school, give our office a call or come in to schedule.

All the best,

Justin Schoonover, CPO

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
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Bright Eyes Baby Day – May 8, 2010

Join Bright Eyes on Saturday, May 8 for Baby Day!

Featuring:

  • No-cost InfantSEE®eye assessment for your baby!
  • Baby Tweetup!
  • Free Baby Sunglasses
  • Awesome Giveaways
  • A chance to win a gift basket from Mi Bebe!
  • Refreshments

What is Baby Day?Beach Boy by chimothy27

At Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, we love patients of all ages, but the cutest and most cuddly ones are babies. Most parents don’t know that the American Optometric Association recommends the first eye and vision evaluation should be at six months of age. So we have created Baby Day! On this day we will provide no-cost eye exams for babies and educate the public on infant and children’s eye care. See the press release here.

InfantSee Morning (10 a.m to noon)

In the morning, we will be scheduling only InfantSEE® patients. Created by the American Optometric Association, InfantSEE®is a public health initiative to screen babies for potential vision problems. InfantSEE® assessments are offered free of charge to infants between six and twelve months of age. It’s a comprehensive eye exam that evaluates a baby’s vision, eye tracking skills, & overall eye health. Long-time readers may remember my daughter’s InfantSEE® evaluation. Now that Javier is 6 months old, he’ll be joining us on Baby Day for his very first eye exam!

Call soon to schedule, as appointments are limited for Baby Day! (And if you can’t make it May 8, you can schedule an InfantSEE® exam during regular office hours, too!)

Baby Tweetup (1 p.m. to 3 p.m. RSVP on FB here)

Our office is fairly social media savvy and we enjoyed hosting the first Westchase Tweetup last year. If you don’t know, a Tweetup is a real-life gathering of users of social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. Typically these events are lots of fun and are excellent networking opportunities. Well, the Baby Tweetup is no different, except that we are specifically inviting little tykes under 24 months and their families. So if your Facebook page is covered with pics and videos of your little bambino, be sure and stop by. And don’t forget to check in on foursquare. 😉

Open House (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Stop by anytime during throughout the day to say hello and check out all the other cute babies! The first 25 babies get a tote bag with baby sunglasses and other goodies. Parents can register to win a gift basket from Mi Bebe. We’ll also have some light refreshments (sodas, juice boxes for kids, cookies and more) for you to enjoy!

Sponsors

Bright Eyes, Mi Bebe, and My Gym are the current sponsors. However, because we want spread the word about infant vision care as far as possible, we are looking for other people or businesses to sponsor Baby Day! You can be a sponsor by donating give-aways or door prizes or by helping us get the word out! If you are interested in joining us or have any questions, please let me know.

I can’t wait to see all the babies at Bright Eyes! So cute!

UPDATES: First, We will be using the hashtag #BABYDAY to track comments on Twitter. Second, this is becoming a national event! We have eye doctors in California, New York, Indiana, and Utah who will be joining us! Ask your eye doctor if they be hosting any special BABY DAY events!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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New Federal Recognition and Funding for InfantSEE® Program

I received an email today from the American Optometric Association:

President Barack Obama signed into law a measure that provides nearly $600,000 in new federal resources to help expand the scope and impact of InfantSEE® – the signature public health program of the American Optometric Association (AOA) and administered by Optometry’s CharityTM – The AOA Foundation.

The first direct appropriation, sponsored by Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) totaled $500,000 and is aimed at supporting expansion and outreach of the program.

“Many parents of newborns do not know that the most dramatic development of a child’s visual system occurs within the first year of life,” said Sen. Byrd. “And it is through early detection and treatment of potential problems that parents can help ensure poor vision and eye health does not severely affect their child’s ability to learn and place them at a disadvantage in education and in life.”

The second direct appropriation totaling $90,000 was sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and will support program expansion through outreach in Iowa.

“InfantSEE® is doing much more than identifying and treating risk factors that may cause eye and vision problems later in the life,” said Sen. Harkin. “They are taking prevention to a new level to ensure healthier, thriving children and lower health care costs down the road.”

InfantSEE® assessments are complementary to the routine well-care exams a baby receives from a pediatrician or family physician. Optometrists have the training to identify areas of risk that are critical to vision development and the skills to identify conditions that might not be detected in a routine pediatric wellness exam. In some cases, conditions may need to be monitored, immediately treated or referred to a pediatric eye specialist.

At Bright Eyes, we believe in and support the InfantSEE® program. You can see this post where I discuss Nora’s first eye exam. I will probably do the same when Javier comes in for his exam when he is six months old. If you have a newborn or are expecting, remember that the InfantSEE® exam provides a no-cost vision assessment if your baby is between 6 and 12 months old.

Be well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Michigan Governor Declares this week InfantSEE week.

InfantSEE from the AOA

Like many Optometrists, I provide visual care to infants. I support the effort in Michigan to get the word out about this important program

“(Dr. Daniel) Mosser, Dr. Robert Barnett II, Dr. Carolyn Ormes and Dr. Barry Morrisson are Martinsburg-based optometrists who will be participating in the clinic program, which was set in motion after Gov. Joe Manchin declared May 4 through May 16 InfantSEE Week.

This week, more than 50 eye doctors statewide will be providing free comprehensive eye and vision assessments for babies between 6 and 12 months of age, by appointments only.

Br. Bonilla-Warford participates in InfantSEE. If you have a little one who is 6 to 12 months of age, bring her or him to Bright Eyes for a no-cost visual assessment because it’s easier to prevent a visual problem than treat one!

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Great Info on Infant Visual Development

My Colleague Dr. Dan Fortenbacher maintains a blog called EXCELerated Vision that contains lots of great information on vision and visual development.

Recently, there have been some very useful posts on Infant Vision. The first contains an audio interview with Dr. Andrea Thau, one of the founding members of the InfantSee program. She discusses the importance of infant vision examinations.

There are also recent posts that contain detailed lists of ways to encourage proper visual development for babies 0 to 3 months and 4 to 8 months of age. If you have a little one in your life, I encourage you to check this out.

Be Well!
Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Mommy Blogging About InfantSee

Recently, Johnson & Johnson held an innovative event called Camp Baby. They invited “mommy bloggers” (women who blog about their experiences raising children) for a series of lectures and events. The bloggers were under no obligation to write about their experience, but many did.

One of the featured speakers was Optometrist Scott Jens chairman of the InfantSee program that provides eye exams to infants at no charge. The recommended time for a first comprehensive eye exam for infants with no eye problems is between 6 and 12 months. If you care interested, you can read about my daughter’s InfantSee exam, that I performed when she was 7 months old.

Dr. Jens, who practices in Madison, WI, is a great speaker and many found his talk to be informative. Here is one review of Dr. Jens from Parentopia.net:

My personal favorite was learning about InfantSee with Dr. Scott Jens. This is a program supported by J&J which provides a free eye exam for all infants. Since my brother struggled horribly in school until they realized he was near sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other and simply couldn’t see what was going on in the world, I think this opportunity is something all parents should take advantage of! As a matter of fact, I have already made arrangements with Dr. Jens to get information about InfantSee into my community

Here are some other mommy blogs on the InfantSee program:

Cool Moms Rule!

Because I Said So

Midwestern Mommy

The MotherLoad

Socal Mom

If you have a baby between the ages of 6 and 12 months, the InfantSEE program will provide one evaluation at no change. Call the office or visit InfantSEE.org for more information.

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth 17 Pounds of Cuteness.

My daughter’s name is Nora. She is, of course, adorable. And since I am an eye doctor, I have been watching with interest how her eyes and vision develop since she was just minutes old. First she opened her eyes. Then she got better at moving them (but not necessarily together.) Finally, she developed a wide-eyed inquisitive way of looking at things that has not faded.

Since before she was born, my wife Cristina and I have done our very best to take care of her and made sure that she received all the care and attention that she needed. We have a wonderful pediatrician who has seen her many times. Fortunately, Nora has always been healthy (except for that first ear infection). She is a happy baby girl and she appears to be growing fast without any problems. But there still are some aspects of her eyes and vision that have not been checked fully.

Nora recently turned 7 months old. That means it is time for her first comprehensive eye and vision assessment. For the average baby, all the visual skills should be significantly developed by six months old. The American Optometric Association recommends the first eye exam at six months of age, then at three years of age and every year while in school. So with the help of my father and Cristina, Nora received her first eye exam.

Like I do with all infants, I first checked that she can see well out of each eye. I then made sure her eyes are straight and not drifting inward or outward. I checked to see if her eyes can turn inward the proper amount when she looks at an object or toy up close. I shined some bright lights in her eyes to make sure that her pupils react properly to light. They did.

By using a special flashlight called a retinoscope, I was able to determine if Nora had any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). It turns out that she has a small amount of farsightedness, which is perfectly normal. Most commonly, the large amounts of refractive error that a baby may have tend to diminish over time (a process called emmetropization), but it is good to have a baseline measurement to see if the error is increasing, staying the same, or decreasing.

After I was convinced that Nora was seeing well and her eyes moved well for her age, it was time to check out the health of her eyes. I looked closely at all the parts of her eyes on the outside to make sure everything was healthy and working well. Then I sprayed eyedrops onto her eyes to enlarge her pupils to allow me to see inside. This is the same type of drop that we use for adults when we dilate their pupils, but the spray makes sure we get it in their tiny eyes without too much fuss.

The drops take 15 minutes or so to take effect, so we all went out in the waiting area. We passed the time by trying on some baby sunglasses, which were very cute on her. After the spray worked its magic, I had Cristina hold Nora and I examined very carefully all around the inside of Nora’s eye to make sure all the nerves, blood vessels, and other parts of her eyes were healthy.

So now that Nora’s eyes have a clean bill of health, I don’t need to examine her again until she’s three years old. And, really, she did great. She a had a good time playing with the toys, and I can sleep at night knowing that she’s been thoroughly checked out.

If you have an infant at home between the ages of 6 and 12 months, the InfantSEE program will provide one evaluation like Nora’s at no change. Call the office or visit InfantSEE.org for more information.

Merry Christmas!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Eyes To The World

This is a great short video about infant vision and shows examples of how infant eye exams are performed. It is a must see for any parent!

If you have an infant, remember that the first vision evaluation is recommended at 6 months. The InfantSEE exam is no cost. If you’d like to read more about infant vision or if you’d like to schedule an appointment for your little one, call us at (813) 792-0637 or go to www.brighteyestampa.com.

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

InfantSEE Vision Exams in the News!

Although this news segment is from all the way across the country (California, in fact), I thought that it was a great story on the importance of infant visual care. Not only that, but it features an interview with a friend of mine, Dr. Carole Hong. 🙂

It is great to see infant vision exams getting more news coverage. As I frequently tell parents, it is much easier to prevent problems than to fix them. And we now know so much about visual development and have so many great techniques for examining the youngest of patients that we could virtually eliminate problems such as amblyopia “lazy eye” and strabismus “wondering eye.” But we can’t find these potential problems if the parents do not bring their little ones in for exams. That is why myself and other InfantSEE doctors donate their time to provide these exams at no cost.

One reason I love practicing in Westchase is that every day I see pregnant women, baby carriers, and strollers. If you have a baby, or know someone that does, be sure to find out more about InfantSEE!

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch