SUNY Optometry Program Stresses Infant and Pediatric Eye Health

NEW YORK—In partnership with InfantSEE and the Allergan Foundation, SUNY Optometry hosted an event late last month highlighting the importance of infant eye health and pediatric vision care. The program included presentations from SUNY Optometry’s University Eye Center chief of pediatrics Ida Chung, OD, Southern College of Optometry professor of pediatric optometry and InfantSEE committee chairman Glen T. Steele, OD, FCOVD, and actor/singer/author Tom Sullivan, among other panelists.

The event emphasized InftantSEE’s free vision care for infants, along with SUNY Optometry’s University Eye Center, which also provides free vision screenings and other eyecare services to visitors. “It’s truly amazing the development that goes on with the eyes before six months. Even at that age, vision impacts socialization, motor development…The goal for today is to recognize the importance of getting eye exams within one year of life,” Chung told VM.

Dr. Chung and Dr. Steele both emphasized that cost should not get in the way of eyecare for infants.

“It’s about changing lives,” Steele said, as he showed the audience examples of InfantSEE patients whose sight and lives would have been compromised without early detection of vision issues. “Families need guidance and help, and lower income families require more assistance and are more at risk.”

The InfantSEE program, in partnership with SUNY Optometry since 2005, has visited five schools of optometry since last year, will visit five additional schools this year and will continue to travel throughout the U.S. until all colleges of optometry have been reached and made aware of the program and its advantages.

 Speakers and organizers of the SUNY Optometry and InfantSEE presentations included (l to r) Ida Chung, OD and Richard Soden, SUNY Optometry; Glen T. Steele, OD, Southern College of Optometry; Tom Sullivan, actor/entertainer; Jennifer Cross, Weill Cornell Medical College; and Andrea Thau, OD, SUNY.
Event panelists listen to Dr. Steele’s presentation. On screen, an InfantSEE patient whose sight was saved due to early detection of dislocated lenses.