Eyecare Tips

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Taking Good Care of Your Eyes (Under 5 Years Old)

An infant’s eye muscles tend to develop rapidly. In fact, within a week of birth they are able to see other people’s smiles. Around six weeks, they are able to follow objects and by four months, both of their eyes should be working well together. However, complicated tasks like depth perception and colour vision will gradually develop over the first few years.

With so much developments taking place within an infant’s eyes, it is important to ensure that your infant’s eyes are developing as intended. There are several methods in which you can help your infant’s visual skills:

  • Have them play with building blocks and basic puzzles.
  • Let them explore the outdoors. Be sure to supervise them at all times.
  • Hang a mobile cot over their cradle.
  • Play hand-clapping games and peekaboo with them.

Common Eye Problems for Children Under 5 Years Old

Strabismus

Infants have very weak eye muscle coordination and there can be a possibility for both eyes to be crossed or not properly aligned with each other. However, vision therapy can be used to treat this which may include the use of glasses or prisms. If left untreated, strabismus can lead to amblyopic (lazy eye).

Amblyopic (lazy eye)

Usually occurs when the message sent from the affected eye to the brain is weak, thus causing poor eyesight.

UV radiation

With their eye muscles still weak and developing, children under five years of age are at risk when their eyes are exposed to UV radiation. It’s advisable to have your child wear a pair of sunglasses to protect their eyes.

Symptoms to Look Out For:

At such a young age, your child won’t be able to notify you whenever they experience difficulties with their vision. Hence, it’s best that you should look out for the symptoms they might display

  • One eye not moving in synchronisation with the other.
  • Roving or jiggling eyes.
  • Frequent blinking, watering or squinting eyes.
  • Frequent rubbing of the eyes.
  • Red eyes or eyelids.
  • A habit of knocking into objects on one side.
  • A lack of focus on faces or toys.

Finding a Solution for the Symptoms:

Your infant should have an eye test within their first six months. Your optometrist should be able to advise how frequently you should return for the tests. Most eye problems can be detected with a basic eye test.

At Y.K. Leong Optometry, we have the required technology and knowledge to examine infants under six months old. We can personalise an eye health plan for your child and have a wide selection of glasses and sunglasses for children.