Early vision issues can cause developmental delays, so it’s important to keep an eye on your little one’s optical health.
“Although only 1 in 9 infants have vision problems, parents who take their child for an eye exam will have a new peace of mind that their infant’s vision is developing properly,” says Andrea Thau, OD, president of the American Optometric Association (AOA) and a founder of its no-cost infant vision assessment program, InfantSEE. In addition to scheduling that initial appointment between 6 and 12 months, the AOA advises watching out for these developmental milestones:
- Birth: Focuses on objects 8 to 10 inches away (like mom’s face during a feeding session).
- 3 months: Tracks objects with eyes and reaches for things.
- 5 months: Gains depth perception and sees in color.
- 8 months: Begins to crawl, which helps further develop eye-hand-foot- body coordination.
- 9 months: Pulls up to standing position.
- 12 months: Begins to walk, judges distances fairly well and throws with precision.
The following symptoms could indicate a problem and warrant a visit to the eye doctor: excessive tears, red/encrusted eyelids, constant eye turning, extreme sensitivity to light, appearance of a white pupil.