Does My Infant Need to See the Eye Doctor?

Parents need to take their infant to the optometrist for an eye exam between six and twelve months. It can determine whether your baby has a healthy vision. Healthy vision is crucial to your child’s successful development.


Experts say that 80 percent of a child’s learning before 13 years old is visual. Milestones like walking, reading, and identifying colors are dependent on vision. Thus, it is prudent to add that optometrist visit to your checklist.


What Happens During a Checkup?


Unfortunately, most children do not show obvious signs and symptoms of vision problems. The only way to confirm any vision problems is to take a comprehensive eye exam. Even if there are no eye or vision problems, take your baby to the optometrist. Their first thorough eye checkup should be at six months.


The optometrist will test for many things. These include astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. They will also check your baby’s ability to move their eyes and the alignment of the eyes. Another thing they will check is the overall health of the baby’s eyes, although eye health problems are not common in babies.


Why Is It Important?


A baby’s sight is not as good as that of older children or adults. Their visual system and eyes develop as they grow. They have milestones that advance through the years, making it crucial to take care of their sight.


Birth to Four Months


At birth, they have all kinds of visual stimulation. Although they may look intently at an object, they cannot tell between two items. The eyes slowly start working together, and vision rapidly improves. They develop eye-hand coordination and begin following moving objects with their eyes. At three months, they can reach out for things.


Five to Eight Months


Their eye movements and body coordination continue to improve. They add the ability to tell whether an object is near or far. At five months, they gain depth perception and can see the world in a three-dimensional view. The next milestone is perceiving color and crawling.


Nine to Twelve Months


At this age, most babies are crawling and trying to walk. The activity helps them develop their eye-hand coordination. Parents should encourage their children to crawl more than walk. It is because children who crawl develop better eye-hand coordination. They can judge distances well and throw things with precision.


One to Two Years


By this time, they have good depth perception and eye-hand coordination. The child now wants to explore their environment. They see objects they can recognize in reality, books, and even draw them.


All the above milestones need your child to have a healthy vision. However, vision problems may develop.


Signs of Vision Problems


If you see the following signs, they are indications of vision problems. Take your child to an optometrist as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Their vision or eye problems may include:


  • Red eyes with crusts

  • Excessive tearing

  • Extreme sensitivity to light

  • Constant eye turning

  • A white pupil


For more information on eye checkups for infants, contact Smoot Eye Care at our office in Bedford, Indiana. You can call (812) 675-4199 to schedule an appointment today.

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