Does Your Child Have Normal Eyes & Normal Vision?
An Article by Dr. Mohammad Malak
Ophthalmologist @ KKES Hospital Riyadh KSA

Eyesight is one of the few very sensitive senses that need to be assessed early on in life to insure a healthy & normal upbringing of a child.

The eyesight immediately after birth is somewhat not properly matured in a sense that the brain cannot make out all the details that are conveyed to it by the eye.

This results in that the eye does not fix on objects and the child might appear not be interested in the surroundings, while the truth is that, during the first few hours the Brain is trying to Learn as much as possible about the surrounding objects which the eye sees for the first time.

While this does not last long as the brain starts to recognize the familiar Faces & sites in a period of about one week and at this point the child will fix his/her eyes on the face of the parent and actually recognize them well & respond to them by a smile.

The first three months of the life are the most important period for the development of the vision, so any interruption of the clarity of vision if not taken care off early enough can result in a Permanent damage, and the vision being reduced for the rest of the life.

The second important period is from 3 months to six years, at this stage any interruption of vision will result in a less severe, but a permanent damage, which the child might suffer, for the rest of his life .

It is important to state that the measuring the vision in newborns & young children is not as easy as in adults; the eye Doctor does it in an objective way by using special techniques.

There are few very important bad signs which indicates a serious underlying eye problem which requires an urgent professional care:

Abnormally large Black part of the eye (Cornea), this might indicate high Pressure in the eye, this might be seen in one or both eyes. This should be taken care of as soon as possible

Excessive tearing and discharge from the one or both eyes with redness, eyes are sticky and difficult to open, especially after awaking from sleep. This indicates the presence of Infection, which needs to be treated promptly.

Whitish discoloration of the normal Black part of the eye (Cornea) can be a sign of CATARACT or a Tumor inside the eye, it might indicate the presence of an Ulcer on the Cornea, and immediate care is required.

Repeated abnormal movement of the eyes sideways or up and down indicates poor vision, the cause must be recognized.

Squint (eyes are not balanced with each other and move in different directions), this indicates poor vision in the deviating eye and should be treated soon to ensure normal development of vision

Eye lid drooping, if one or both eye lids are covering most of the Black Part (Corneas), this will need to decrease vision by blocking the normal path of light to the inside of the eye, care is advised to clear the path of vision.

The child seems not to respond or fixate on Familiar faces & surroundings at several weeks of age could indicate reduced vision & professional advice is required.

These are few Bad signs which should be looked for, because its out of scope of this article to mention all of them, so its advisable not to ignore any abnormality which you might see in your child’s eye, remember your slightest ignorance at this young age could leave this child visually handicapped for the rest of his life