Vision Throughout Your Life
Remke Eye Clinic is committed to serving your vision needs, no matter your stage in life. From birth to your later years, we are here to help you optimize your vision and to be as healthy as you can be!
Babies will learn to see just like they learn to walk and talk! A baby’s vision is fairly undeveloped when they are born, so the first year and a half of a baby’s life can be critical in their visual development for the rest of their life. It is important that infants have healthy eyes and good vision. Deficits in those areas can not only lead to problems with vision, but can also affect a child’s ability to perform academically and socially throughout their lives!
What can you do as a parent to ensure that your baby has proper visual development?
Three easy steps to remember:
- Watch for signs of eye and vision problems
- Some signs include excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, constant eye turning, red eye lids and the appearance of a white pupil.
- Help your child develop their vision by engaging them in age-appropriate activities
- Schedule your baby for an eye exam by an eye doctor at about 6 months of age
How should your baby’s vision properly develop?
Birth – 4 Months Old
- Newborn babies do not have the ability to easily distinguish between targets. They also cannot move their eyes easily between targets.
- Focus for a newborn is about 8-10 inches from their face
- Eye-hand coordination should begin to develop during the first few months of life. Your baby should also begin to focus more on faces.
- At about 3 months of age, your baby should be able to follow objects with their eyes.
- Your baby’s eyes may sometimes appear crossed or uncoordinated. Usually, this is normal for a newborn baby, but if the problem seems to persist it is a good idea to seek help from an eye doctor.
- To help with development during this time change your child’s crib position frequently, talk to your baby as you walk around and alternate right and left sides each time you feed.
5 Months – 9 Months Old
- Eye-body coordination will continue to improve during this time, and your baby will begin to develop depth perception.
- Your baby should begin to develop pretty good color vision around the fifth month of age.
- Most babies will begin to crawl around 8 months of age. It’s important that your baby takes their time in the crawling stage of life because this period is critical for developing good eye-hand-foot coordination.
- To help with development during this time give your baby time to explore and play, provide toys such as blocks and play games where you can move your baby’s hands through the motions.
10 Months – 1 Year Old
- You baby will begin to stand and pull themselves up during this period. Eventually, they will begin to attempt to walk. Again, it is important that your baby spend adequate time crawling before walking to properly develop coordination.
- Most babies can now judge distance fairly well.
- To help with development during this time play games like hide-and-seek, name objects for your baby and encourage crawling
1 Year – 2 Years Old
- Eye-hand coordination is refined during this time.
- To help with development during this time roll a ball back and forth and read stories to stimulate your child.
Age 2 – 5 years old in a child is a time of rapid growth and development! It is a time when their experiences in the world can enhance their visual development as well.
What can you do to enhance your preschooler’s vision?
- Read out loud to your child
- Practice throwing and catching
- Provide a chalkboard, coloring paper and finger paints
- Play memory games
- Play outdoors
- Play with other children their age
What are some signs of visual development problems in preschoolers?
- Sitting close to a TV or reading very close
- Squinting or tilting their head
- Turning out of an eye
- Light sensitivity
- Avoidance of coloring activities or puzzles
- Rubbing eyes frequently
- Short attention span for their age
Every parent desires for their child to be successful academically and socially. Having good vision is the key to that success! 80% of a child’s learning is through their eyes. School years are extremely important for success throughout life, but far too often parents overlook vision as an essential part of that success. Many children can become discouraged in school or even labeled as having some type of learning difficulty simply because they cannot visually function properly. Regular eye care is important for all children during their school-aged years. Many parents assume that their children see well if their child never complains, however, many children are unaware they have a vision problem until they see an eye doctor.
What are some of the signs that my child may have a vision problem?
- Short attention span
- Headaches or frequent eye rubbing
- Avoidance of reading
- Turning out of an eye
- Seeing double or losing their place when reading
- Poor reading comprehension
- Head tilting
Young Adult Vision
Most people age 20 – 40 experience their best vision and eye health. Eye injuries are the most common cause of eye problems in this age group. Stress from work and growing families can often create vision problems as well. It is important for young adults to remember to take steps to protect their eyes from the sun as well as protecting their eyes at work and in sports. How you care for your eyes during this stage of life can greatly affect the outcome of your eye health later in your life!
What are some steps I can take to protect my vision during this time even if I feel healthy?
- Eat healthy!
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid smoking
- Protect your eyes from the sun and at work
- Periodically come in for a comprehensive eye health examination
Almost all people begin to notice changes in their vision after they turn 40. It is a normal part of the aging process to begin to need reading glasses to see up close! However, this is also the part of our lives when many changes can begin to take place and manifest that affect how we live our lives. It is often during the time from age 40 – 60 that eye diseases begin to be detected. These include diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. This is why it becomes critical that adults maintain a regular schedule of comprehensive eye health exams. A lot can change from year to year during your adult years, so your eye health should be frequently evaluated so that you can maximize your vision.
What are some warning signs of potential eye health problems?
- Fluctuating vision
- Seeing frequent floaters and flashes
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Seeing distorted images
What are some natural changes I should expect in my vision during adulthood?
- Needing more light to see clearly
- Subtle changes in color perception
- Reduced tear production
- Difficulty seeing up close
- Increased problems with glare, particularly when driving
Vision Beyond 60
Unfortunately, we can’t avoid getting older. But aging does not mean that you have to compromise the lifestyle you enjoy! The key is to know what to expect and taking the necessary steps to protect your vision. Many vision problems that appear after the age of 60 have no symptoms. Instead they can gradually steal your vision if you are not proactive and seeking professional help in treatment. Regular, annual comprehensive eye health exams are essential after the age of 60. If you ever notice any changes in your vision, please contact us immediately.
What are some of the common eye health problems associated with being over 60?
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Retinal detachments
- Dry eye syndrome