Your eyes are ever-changing from infancy to adulthood. Good vision is not something your child is immediately born with. Vision develops over time, and the first 10 years of a child’s life are the most crucial for proper vision development. An infant sees colors, shapes, outlines, etc., all at different stages. Vision problems are best detected and treated while a child is young. This can prevent problems from becoming serious in later years. Even if you have perfect vision all your life, your ability to see clearly changes around age 40 and again after age 60. Learn about your vision in all stages of life and what you can expect for the future!
Just as babies develop new skills day-by-day, they also develop vision at a steady pace. Your eyes are not born perfect but must develop over time. In fact, studies have found that your eyes are developing for at least the first 10 years of life. At birth, babies have not developed the ability to tell the difference between two objects or move their eyes between two images. For the first month of life at least, babies can only see 8-10 inches from their face.
Throughout that first month, an infant’s eyes will start to work together. You may notice that the first few weeks a baby is cross-eyed a lot of the time. This will start to diminish the more the eyes learn to work together. Then you can expect an infant to start following objects and people with their eyes. They will start to also reach for those objects around 3 months of age. However, depth perception is not present until about 5-8 months. Your eyes had to develop this tool as a baby. When a baby begins to crawl, they start to develop hand-eye-foot coordination and depth perception even more.
The preschool years are when visual abilities are developing in your child. These are visual abilities that they will use in school and throughout their lives. Your eyes went through a similar process in your childhood years. We offer pediatric eye exams at our office because we know how delicate and important vision is in infants and children. This is a time where children are learning many of the basics of reading, writing, mathematics, and about their environments. Give them a leg up by helping them have a good vision with frequent eye exams!
Children should have a pediatric eye exam at least every 2 years, or more frequently, starting at age 3. They should have a comprehensive eye exam at this time to ensure the vision is developing normally and is absent from eye disease. Getting the eyes checked can ensure that vision develops properly throughout childhood and into adolescence and beyond.
Adolescent vision is also known as school-aged vision. This is how well your eyes see between ages 6 and 18. You can determine how well your eyes see by how well your vision was as an infant and a toddler. That is when most visual problems manifest that slowly become more severe into adolescence and adulthood. If you had nearsightedness or farsightedness as a young child, it may continue to get worse as an adolescent, especially if you haven’t been to the eye doctor often. Adolescents should receive an eye exam every 2 years unless they have visual problems. If that is the case, adolescents should see their eye doctor every year to keep track of vision changes.
Even if you have enjoyed perfect vision for years, that vision can start to change around age 40. This is a prime time that many patients begin to notice subtle changes in vision. Between 41-60 years old, the human eye begins to change. Everyone is subject to these vision changes. It’s common for your eyes to begin struggling when it comes to seeing at close distances. Your eyes may not focus as quickly when participating in activities at close range such as reading or looking at a computer screen. Glasses or contact lenses can easily correct your vision during this time period. Bifocal or multifocal lenses can also help eliminate your visual problems as well.
Guess what? Your vision continues changing, especially after age 60. After this age, you need to take extra steps to protect your vision and health for your eyes. This is the time when problems such as glaucoma and macular degeneration have the most effect. However, these types of symptoms come on in stages over the years. Pay attention to your vision and how the world around you looks. If you notice changes in your vision, especially areas of blindness, don’t hesitate to see your eye doctor immediately. You can ward off symptoms of many eye diseases or avoid them entirely by getting treated early on.
No matter your age, it is extremely important to take care of your eyes and to have them checked often! The American Optometric Association recommends that you receive an eye exam for your eyes at least every 2 years. Patients that have eye conditions such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness and more may need to have their vision checked yearly or even more often. The fact is, that the more you take care of your eyes, the longer you can enjoy great vision. If you are due for an eye exam, call Optical Masters today at (720) 782-2190 and see how your eyes are doing!