Apr 26, 2010
Posted in Young Baby
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A Parental Guide for Checking Vision Problems in Newborns



There are several signs which would warn parents if their child has any vision problems. It is imperative to seek medical advice in case one is doubtful regarding the infant’s eyesight or in case the infant’s eyes are watering a lot and intense lights are causing him discomfort.

Certain eye conditions or vision problems could develop even in a very young infant. Though parents must not attempt to make a diagnosis on their own, yet there are a number of things that they could detect which must be brought to the doctor’s notice. Also it is imperative that the doctor be kept informed about any family history of vision problems.

Squint or strabismus

Squinting is prevalent and normal in newborns at some times, particularly in case they are exhausted. In case this appears to continue even after the child is 6-8 months old or in case it deteriorates at any staging prior to that, then the doctor must be informed. In case one notices that merely one of the baby’s eyes are focusing on an item of interest and the other eye points far out/away then the infant could be suffering from squint or strabismus. The infant would tip his head or hold it in a strange position for getting his vision in line. For checking, parents could use an item like a plaything and keep the infant’s head still (assistance of another adult would be needed) and moving the plaything in a manner replicating the letter H in the air. One could verify whether both the eyes are following the object in unison.

Lazy Eye

In case the infant is suffering from weakened eye muscles around a single eye then he would tilt his head for allowing the eye with better vision to follow the actions happening around with greater ease. Parents could check whether both the eyelids are in level when the infant gives attention to an item in motion. In case just one eye is being favored over the other one then it could be a case of lazy eye and one needs to seek medical advice on the same.

Color Blindness

This eye condition has a tendency of being hereditary and the most prevalent type is not being able to tell apart red from green (frequently, however not entirely, observed in boys). Employing multiple colored sweets and asking the child to single out particular colors. When the child is older and can identify colors then asking the child for picking up particular colours.

Peripheral Vision Test

For assessing if one’s child is having a normal field of vision, one could start off by choosing a pet toy and with the infant gazing directly ahead, gradually moving it from the outsides to ahead of the infant’s face till he is able to see it. The infant’s field of vision must ideally be extending approximately at a forty-five degree inclination on either side.

Vision Accuracy

Vision accuracy of a child could be checked with a game – standing approximately six meters or twenty feet away from the child and holding up some fingers. The child could to be asked to hold up the analogous number of fingers that you have held up. In case the infant is not able to do it then it is best that the child be shown to a doctor.

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