- At birth, a check for congenital eye defects
- As children grow, their vision changes. Guarding children’s eye health and guiding their visual development are primary roles of parents and caregivers.
- At birth, a baby’s first medical examination includes a check for congenital eye defects. Although rare, early diagnosis of these problems is important to preserve sight. Pediatrics and eye doctors (optometrists or ophthalmologists) can usually correct most eye problems ? but only if spotted early.
- Premature babies have a greater chance of developing certain eye problems, such as astigmatism and strabismus (misaligned eyes). Some babies are born with crossed-eyes (esotropia), a problem that happens when eye muscles are too tight or the baby is very farsighted.
At 3 to 4 months, parents should consult an eye doctor if the baby:
- Cannot focus on or follow an object with both eyes
- Has difficulty moving one or both eyes in all directions
- Usually has crossed eyes
- Has one or both eye that tend to wander outward
From birth to age 7
- One or both eyes may turn outward (exotropia), rarely at first, then more often.
- The child may squint when outside in bright sun. Again, the eye muscles are responsible. Parents should consult an eye doctor.
Baby’s first visit to the eye doctor
- (Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) should occur at about 6 months.
- During a thorough examination, the eye doctor will test both of baby’s eyes for extreme or uneven nearsightedness, farsightedeness and astigmatism.
- He or she will check the baby’s eye movements and eye health.
- Problems with vision development and eye health are uncommon in infants, but most easily treated, if caught early.