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When Should a Newborn Have an Eye Exam?

August 15 2023

Welcoming a newborn into the world is a moment filled with joy and wonder. As parents, we want to ensure every aspect of our little one’s health is safeguarded. One crucial area that often demands attention is their eye health. 
Read on as a vision therapy optometrist Washington, DC talks about the essentials of eye care for newborns and when to consider getting their first comprehensive eye examination.

The Marvel of Newborn Vision

The Developmental Journey

From the very moment a baby is born, their visual journey begins. Initially, a newborn’s vision is hazy, akin to looking through a foggy window. Over the first few weeks and months, their eyesight evolves remarkably. The brain and the eyes work in tandem to create a clearer, more focused view of the world.

Captivating Visual Preferences

Ever noticed how your baby fixates on your face? Newborns are drawn to high-contrast patterns and human faces due to their innate visual preferences. These preferences lay the foundation for their visual exploration and social interactions.

Nurturing Healthy Eyes

Creating a well-lit environment benefits your newborn’s eyes. Gentle, indirect light helps stimulate visual development and aids in the formation of strong eye-brain connections. Natural light during the daytime and soft ambient light in the evenings can work wonders.

When to Consider an Eye Exam

Monitoring Visual Milestones

While babies develop at different rates, there are key visual milestones to watch for. Around the age of 3 months, they should start following moving objects with their eyes. By 6 months, most babies can focus on nearby objects and show interest in small details.

Signs That Warrant an Eye Exam

Sometimes, certain signs might indicate the need for a closer look at your baby’s eyes. Excessive tearing, consistent eye misalignment, sensitivity to light, or a persistent lack of visual responsiveness are all reasons to consult a pediatric ophthalmologist.

The Ideal Time for the First Eye Exam

Six Months and Beyond

The American Optometric Association recommends scheduling your baby’s first comprehensive eye examination between 6 and 12 months of age. During this examination, a qualified eye care professional will assess your baby’s eye health and development, ensuring that any potential issues are caught early.

Early Detection for Lifelong Benefits

Detecting and addressing eye issues in infancy can significantly impact your child’s visual health in the long run. Early intervention can help correct problems that might otherwise lead to vision difficulties, learning challenges, or even permanent visual impairment.
If you have more questions or wish to schedule your newborn for a comprehensive eye exam, please don’t hesitate to call us, your local vision therapy optometrist Washington, DC, anytime!

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The Center for Vision Development



2525 Riva Road Suite 126
Annapolis, MD 21401


As of Friday 6/30/23, the office will be closing on 4:00pm on all Fridays through the rest of the summer.