Newborns have all the ocular structures necessary to see, although they are not yet fully developed. At birth, your baby can see blurred patterns of light and dark. During the first four months, their visual horizon will expand from a few centimetres to many metres. Their vision will become clearer, colour vision will begin to develop and their two eyes will start working together. By four months of age, an infant’s colour vision is similar to an adult’s, and by the sixth month, your baby will acquire eye movement control and develop eye-hand coordination skills.
What to look for with your baby’s eyes:
For the first six months, an infant’s eyes can appear slightly crossed or out of alignment, but this is usually normal. But if your infant’s eyes appear significantly crossed or remain misaligned after six months of age, contact your Optometrist right away. Your child may have “strabismus”, commonly known as crossed eyes, a condition that needs to be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, prisms and/or vision therapy and, in some cases, surgery. If the ignored eye is not corrected, it will not function normally. This may result in the development of lazy eye.
Lazy eye, or “amblyopia”, is another condition that becomes apparent within the first six months of your baby’s life. Amblyopia means weak vision, or vision loss in one eye as a result of an uncorrected prescription. If treated before eight years of age, it will often resolve completely. It’s important to treat amblyopia early – with vision therapy, eyeglasses and/or contact lenses, or patching – as treatment becomes very difficult later on. If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to blindness in the affected eye.
When to take your baby for an eye exam:
Vision play a huge role in early development. Optometrists recommend that infants have their first eye exam between six and nine months of age, and annually thereafter. Optometrists can complete an eye exam even if your child doesn’t know their ABCs! They will use shapes, pictures and other child-friendly ways to evaluate vision and eye health.
9025 Derry Road West
Milton, ON L9T7Y9
Phone: (905) 636-9500