Infants & Preschoolers

Vision Problems Can Start at a Very Early Age

At a very early age, you can start noticing telltale signs of vision problems in a child. Just like any preventative care, the sooner you spot difficulties, the easier it will be to improve your child’s vision as he/she begins to read and encounter other learning-related activities.

Use our vision development checklist to ensure your child’s vision is developing correctly. The ages shown here are approximate. The main concern is that your child follows the sequence of vision development listed here. However, if a child does fall behind the scale by more than 4 to 6 weeks from age 2 to age 5, or more than 6 weeks from age 2 to age 5, a functional vision exam is recommended.

When reviewing the checklist, keep the following items in mind:

  • Appearance of the eyes: The eyes should have a normal appearance. When children are very young, their eyes may occasionally turn in toward their nose. This is a typical behavior. If you notice the condition persisting, you should speak with your optometrist.

  • Evidence of discomfort: It is difficult for a baby or a very young child to tell you they are experiencing discomfort. However, if a baby keeps his or her eyes closed during wakeful moments it may be a sign they’re experiencing some discomfort because it may feel better for them to keep their eyes closed.

  • Attention span: Visual attention, such as a baby’s recognition of his or her parents entering the room, is an indicator of early development of visual abilities.

  • Visual scanning: A child should be able to move his or her eyes quickly and accurately without excessive head movement. This ability is closely related to reading.

  • Orientation and localization: As a baby learns to hold his or her eyes on an object, he or she will begin to scan for specific details. This is part of their growing visual awareness of their surroundings. They are now becoming oriented to the world around them.

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