need to have eye dilation
exams. The pupil of an infant is small in diameter and needs to
be dilated in order for the ophthalmoscope to detect tumors, cataracts,
and other ocular diseases.
This is easily
done at the well-baby visit.After
the infant is weighed, the nurse administers the eye dilation
drop in the corner of each eye. At the end of the exam, when the
pupils are dilated, the pediatrician will check the eyes with
the ophthalmoscope in a darkened room. This
causes no extra time to the doctor. Remember,
using the ophthalmoscope is part of the standard exam.
The pediatricians who are performing
routine eye dilation exams want to see all doctors doing the same.
It takes only ten seconds of a nurse's time to put in the drops...all
of which cost only pennies. I refer to it as "the ten second,
two cent exam."
One pediatrician who has been
performing the exam for over ten years described it as "gentle,
safe and cost effective." While another pediatrician
doing routine eye dilation exams for over 20 years wrote, "I
only wish we had other simple, inexpensive and safe methods of screening
for other diseases that have a potential devastating impact as loss
of sight or loss of life.'
One in every 677 live births in the United States
has a treatable eye disease or anomaly that will cause blindness
unless detected early. Some of them can take sight
as early as two months of age. Retinoblastoma will take life
if not detected and allowed to escape out of the eye.
A few of the Infant eye
diseases follow: Cataracts, tumors, *Coat's Disease, Glaucoma.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Premature babies
have automatic eye dilation exams. Sadly, 90 percent of the infants
born with eye diseases are the healthy babies and we are not looking
in their eyes! ASK FOR THIS EXAM!
Early detection and referral are key to saving vision and life.
THE INFANT EYE CARE
"Joey's Bill" was
written in the state of Florida after Joey died. The bill is asking
for eye dilation exams at birth,
the 6 to 8 week well-baby exam and one more at the 6-9 month well
Eye dilation exams in the beginning
of life are vital to the health and welfare of our children.
Bottom line...what we did for hearing,
we now need to do for sight. Vision screening needs to start at
birth. Every child has the right to healthy vision and life. This
legislation will help ensure that right.
No child will needlessly go blind,
loose an eye, or die to any treatable eye disease. It is a gift
that we can fix this for our children. Working together we will
make it happen. Joey is smiling.
If you need information or have
questions, please contact me at any time
619 South K. Street
Lake Worth, FL 33460