About 2 weeks ago I took my 15 month old son to the ophthalmologist for a follow up. He was originally seen at 5 weeks old for an unrelated issue and the doctor told me that he had significant farsightedness. It’s quite normal for babies to be farsighted so he said we would observe him and recheck at a later date. I didn’t think much of it so I was a bit surprised when he told us he would need glasses. But I shouldn’t have been surprised!! Both my father and I have hypermetropia (hyperopia) so it runs in the family.
My little guy with his new Miraflex glasses purchased at
Many people have stopped me to say how cute he looks with his glasses but many have other questions like “how did you know he needed glasses at such a young age?” Well, I didn’t notice anything wrong. I never saw him squint or move his face close up to his books or toys and his eyes never crossed. We just really got lucky to have caught it early! The mother in me was concerned at first, but I’m just very glad that we caught it early before any other issues arise.
The physician in me feels the need to share some warning signs that parents should be aware of that may indicate that a baby has problems with their vision/eyes.
Some red flags include:
– Drooping eyelid
– Eyes don’t move equally (lazy eye)
– Position of eyes is not aligned properly (strabismus)
– Surrounding lights or obvious objects don’t catch his/her attention
– A strange persistent spot in a baby’s eye when a picture with flash is taken
– Unequal pupils (my middle son had this but it ended up being a normal variant)
– Baby rubs his/her eyes excessively
– Pupils appear cloudy with a white, grayish, or yellow material
– Eyes seem very sensitive to light
– Baby tends to tilt his/her head when trying to look at an object
– Baby does not follow an object with his/her eyes once older than 3 months.
Pediatric well visits are an important time to address visual problems. The pediatrician will check an infant’s eyes for a red reflex but that may not give an entire picture of their vision. By toddlerhood, the first exposure to an eye exam is around 3-4 years old and the usual Snellen Eye Chart I feel is not a very sensitive tool. Abnormal farsightedness would not be caught with this screening, for example. If you have any concerns about your infant or child’s vision, make sure to notify your pediatrician immediately. If there is a family history of visual problems, make sure you are hyper-vigilant and have your children checked with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Weekly Exclusive to aMother Adventure by:
Laura Soto, D.O.
Family Medicine Physician
You may LIKE my Facebook Page Below: