Contrary to what we might think, seeing does not come naturally. Babies learn to move their eyes, focus their eyes and process what they see. Good vision is a critical component of their development and necessary as they explore the world around them. It’s important that any vision problems be detected early so they don’t cause any developmental delays. Parents should watch for signs of eye problems and help their child develop vision with age-appropriate activities and interactions. They also should have their child’s vision assessed by a professional around 6 months old. According to the American Optometric Association, vision problems in infants are rare, but occasionally an issue can arise. Some signs of problems include:
- Excessive tearing, which could be sign of blocked tear ducts.
- Red or encrusted eye lids – a sign of an eye infection.
- Constant eye turning could signal a problem with eye muscle control.
- Extreme sensitivity to light, which may indicate elevated pressure in the eye.
- Appearance of a white pupil – an indicator of an eye cancer.
Should you notice any of these signs in your child, contact your pediatrician or ophthalmologist.