Vision plays a crucial role in how infants and young children learn and develop. Recognizing signs of eye issues earlier may help diagnose and treat potential conditions before complications arise.
Babies are not born with all visual abilities, so they must learn to focus their eyes and move them accurately over time. Their eyes provide information and stimulation, which is vital for their development.
Vision plays an important role in developing communication, interaction, bonding, spatial awareness, ocular motor — which refers to eye movement, and motor and cognitive functions.
Early detection of eye issues can prevent them from becoming more severe and have a better chance of successful treatment.
This article explores how to spot signs of vision problems in babies. It also discusses the causes, treatments, and prevention techniques of eye issues.
Signs of vision problems in babies
Experts consider eye and vision problems rare for infants — their visual abilities gradually develop, usually without any complications. However, sometimes vision and eye health problems may develop.
The following can be signs of problems with the eyes in infants:
- red, crusty eyes
- excessive tearing
- extreme light sensitivity
- eye turning to one side constantly
- white spot in pupil or white pupil
For the first 2 months, an infant’s eyes are not well coordinated and may wander or cross. However, an eye evaluation may be necessary if an eye appears to turn in or out constantly.
The American Public Health Organization estimates that around 1 in 5 preschoolers in the United States have vision problems.
It is also fairly common for babies younger than 3 months to have some signs of strabismus that comes and goes.
The early years are crucial for children to learn the visual abilities they need in school and throughout life. Therefore, it is vital to spot these problems early and consult with a doctor for diagnosis and treatments if necessary.
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