Infants (six months or younger)
At birth, your baby can see light and dark in blurred patterns. During their first four months, vision will extend from arm’s length to across the room. By six months, your baby will acquire eye movement control and begin to develop hand-eye coordination skills.
During the first six months, an infant’s eyes can appear slightly crossed or out of alignment. If they continue to appear crossed or misaligned after six months, contact your optometrist right away. Your child may have strabismus, commonly known as crossed eyes. This condition can be treated with:
• Contact lenses
• Vision therapy
• In some cases, surgery
If the misaligned eye is left untreated, it will be unable to function normally. This may result in the development of amblyopia, commonly referred to as ‘lazy eye’. This condition refers to weak vision or vision loss in one eye due to uncorrected prescription or a misaligned eye. If detected and treated at an early age, it will often resolve completely. Untreated amblyopia can lead to significant vision loss in the affected eye.
Visual abilities play a key role in early development. Optometrists recommend infants have their first eye exam at six months and then continue on an annual basis. An optometrist can complete an eye exam even if your child doesn’t know their ABC’s or is not yet speaking in full sentences. They can use shapes, pictures and other child-friendly ways to evaluate vision and eye health.