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At What Age Should a Baby Have an Eye Exam? 

October 15 2022
Woman holding baby

Did you know that your baby’s eyes are fully developed by the time they’re born? It’s true! And their vision is pretty good, too. But just like adults, babies can have eye problems.

Eye exams are important for all babies and children, but especially for those who have been born prematurely or have other medical conditions. Knowing when to start getting your baby’s eyes checked is important, as well.

Read on as a Washington, DC vision therapy optometrist talks about when a baby should have an eye exam and what that eye exam involves.

When Should a Baby Have an Eye Exam?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for when to get your baby’s first eye exam. But there are a few guidelines to follow.

The American Optometric Association recommends that children get their first eye exam at 6 months of age, or within the first year of life. If a child doesn’t experience any vision problems by this time, they should be able to wait until they’re 3 years old before getting their first exam.

The reason for this is that babies’ vision develops rapidly during the first two years of life, so it’s important to make sure that vision development is on track as early as possible. This can help prevent problems later on down the line.

Signs Your Baby May Need an Eye Exam

While the recommended age for the first eye exam is six months old, some babies can be seen sooner than that. 

If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s too early to take your baby to get his or her eyes checked out by an eye doctor, rest assured that there are plenty of signs that indicate when it might be time to go ahead and make an appointment: –

  • Your baby has been suffering from frequent eye infections or conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Your baby squints or rubs his or her eyes frequently, particularly when exposed to bright light or sunlight
  • Your baby’s eyes appear red or irritated 
  • Your baby’s pupils are dilated (enlarged)

If you notice any changes in a baby’s eyes—whether it be cloudiness, redness, irritation, or discharge—it’s important to visit with your optometrist right away so he or she can check out the condition of your child’s eyes.

As a general rule, the sooner a potential eye problem is identified and treated the healthier your baby’s vision will be down the road. If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to call our Washington, DC vision therapy optometrist office today!

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