VISUAL DEVELOPMENT IN BABIES By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
Do you have a new baby or grandchild? Are you wondering what that little bundle of joy is seeing through those beautiful eyes? At birth, infants are very light sensitive so you may notice that their pupils are quite small. They cannot focus clearly so highly contrasted images are optimal to enrich their visual environment. Their side or peripheral vision is better than their vision right in front of them.
By about a month of age, infants can begin to focus on objects 3 feet away. At 2 months, they should be able to focus even closer. By about 3 months, their distance vision continues to develop along with their eye muscle coordination. The result is that you will notice them following moving objects with their eyes. Their eye-hand coordination also improves at about this time also so you should notice them reaching for objects. By the time they reach 4 months of age, infants should be able to watch their parent’s smiling face move across a room. A babies’ color vision also slowly develops so around this time they should be able to respond to a full range of colors and shades.
One reason to be concerned about an infants’ visual development is if you notice that one eye consistently turns in or out. Another would be if there is a poor “red reflex” in one eye, for example when you take their picture with a bright light behind you. A third reason would be if one eyelid is consistently closed. Any of these findings should be brought to the attention of the child’s medical professional. Enjoy watching them grow and learn!
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.