Do you sometimes wonder what your baby is seeing, and if their eyes are working properly? In the following article we’ll go through everything you need to know about vision in the first six months of your baby’s life, what symptoms you should keep an eye out for, and what your Calgary eye doctor actually tests during their first infant eye exam.
Are you or your baby experiencing an eye emergency? My Optometrist Calgary is still here to help amid COVID-19.
Learn More About our COVID-19 Response
What does my baby see?
Your baby sees shadows and movements in the first month of their life, with focus mostly assigned around your face and its immediate surroundings. Within several months their vision expands to across the room, and they’re seeing sharper form, shape and detail. The central area of vision in the eye is called the macula. The highly sensitive receptors in this area are actually developing even after birth, and throughout the critical development period till six years of age! Because of this, it’s essential that your child’s eyes are assessed during that time to ensure there are no limitations to their development. Have you booked your infant’s first eye exam yet? Once they reach six months old it’s recommended they see their Calgary optometrist for their first visit.
Book an Appointment Online.
How do I know if something might be wrong with my baby’s sight?
Your baby’s visual system is developing even after birth, including the eye muscle and focusing system, tearing system, and many other parts of the eye. Please book an exam with your Calgary optometrist if you notice any of the following:
- In the first 1-2 months, your baby’s eyes may not always appear to work perfectly together, but after that time, should you notice one eye drift consistently in a different direction than the other (crossing inwards or outwards), there could be problems with the muscle system (Strabismus).
- If you see a dulling, whiteness, or otherwise change in the pupil opening, there could be development of a number of infant eye diseases (cataract, glaucoma, retina problems).
- If your child is not following, observing, reaching, or otherwise making signs of visual connection.
- The infant tear drainage is developing even after birth, but book an appointment should you notice significant tearing, with debris, crusting, or redness along the lids for longer than a month.
Have you noticed any of the above issues happening with your baby? Contact us today and book them in for a Calgary infant eye exam.
Contact Our Calgary Eye Clinics
What can I do to help my baby’s vision development?
There are a number of things you can do to help your baby’s vision develop. These include:
- Installing bold patterned mobiles that are safely mounted above their crib or play areas, which helps enhance their hand-eye coordination
- Rattles, soft toys, balls, baby mirrors, and play-gyms all help with sensory interaction and hand-eye coordination
- Reading large print touch and feel books has them associate vision, hearing and touch
- Varied play time including in crib/bassinet, and in play areas with ‘tummy’ time
- Sing and talk often with your child. The facial mimicking and interactions are very important
How does my Calgary optometrist check my baby’s eyes?
- There’s no reason to worry if your child isn’t speaking or responding in order to have their eyes tested. The first eye exam is more of an observatory examination. But their Calgary eye doctor is trained to observe and assess all aspects of vision development — including how their eyes are focusing, evaluating their eye muscle alignment, and their eye health system.
- The process is very comfortable for baby and parent: the child sits on the parent’s lap while the eye doctor uses various targets to observe the child’s eye movements, lights to observe their pupils, a special hand-held instrument (retinoscope) held at arm's-length away, and hand held magnifier (ophthalmoscope) to observe eye health.
- Your Calgary optometrist will then summarize if they have found anything that is abnormal, if extra testing or follow up is required, and if any special treatments or recommendations are required. We will often see young children more frequently if we are observing their development, as there are many pathways that are integrating during the first two years of life.
We look forward to seeing you and your child for their first eye exam once they reach the age of six months, and annually after that.
Book an Appointment Online.
At My Optometrist Calgary, we have three eye clinics in Calgary to make access to vision care as convenient and simple as possible! To find out more about how our highly trained optometrists can help diagnose and treat AMD in a timely manner to prevent any loss of vision, you can book an appointment online. Alternatively, you can contact our clinics at 403-256-0606 (Health First Optometry), 403-291-0923 (Sunridge Vision Centre), or 403-443-2040 (Three Hills Optometry).