Your Infant's Visual Development
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Your Infant's Visual Development
Vision Problems of Premature Babies
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Infants are born with an underdeveloped visual system. Throughout the first year of life, your child's vision will grow and develop with him. Before your child is born, see your health-care practitioner regularly for prenatal visits and eat a nutritionally balanced diet for your child's eyes to properly develop.Your baby's eyes will be checked at birth and during well-baby visits throughout the first year. If your baby is premature, make sure his eyes were thoroughly checked at the hospital or birthing center before you brought him home. If not, make an appointment to see your eyecare practitioner.

The First Three Months 

Babies usually see movement befo re anything else, as their vision is still evol ving. Full-term babies should be ab le to see their mother's facial expression within a week of birth.Color vision is not yet fully developed at this time. Depth perception will also mature during the first year of life, as long as both of the child's eyes are working as a team.Eye muscle coordination in a newborn, as well as a small child, is also very immature. Babies often exhibit eyes turned in, turned out or not working as a team, called strabismus. This happens when the muscles of one side of the eye pull more than the muscles on the other side. If this problem doesn't resolve itself by the age of three or four months, consult your pediatrician or eye care practitioner.
Some babies need eyeglasses to correct early vision problems. Shown is Tiny To t by Fisher-Price.

First Signs of Eye and Vision Problems     

Sometimes you need to as k for  help earlier, such as if your child's eyes are grossly turned in or out, d on't mov e normally before age three months, if the e ye is crossed far into the nasal area, one eye moves while the other remains still or if one eye appears radically different from the other. Large-scale eye movement problems can be remedied with surgery if necessary. Seeing y our pediatrician early also helps.Catching strabismus early is i mportant, because a visual condition called amblyopia may result if strabismus is left untreated. If your child doesn't see well out of one eye due to strabismus, the eyes aren't working as a team to see. If your child's br ain doesn't rece ive visual imag es from that eye, eventually the brain will "shut off" that eye and vision could be  permanently lost. 



 
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