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Early Eyesight

Until relatively recently it was assumed that a baby could not see at birth, and would not be able to focus properly until a few months old. Although the eyes are fully developed at birth, and vision needs to be stimulated in order to develop correctly, it is now known that the majority of babies are born longsighted, and the ability to focus on the fine detail is acquired during the early months.

Young EyecareAt birth the eye is approximately three-quarters the size of an adult's and in the first six months of life the six muscles around the eye develop. It is quite usual for a baby's eyes to seem unco-ordinated in the first few weeks, as visual co-ordination begins to develop.

It's never too early to take your baby for an eye examination. Any defect - such as a squint - will cause problems later om unless treated at an early age. A child's vision is fully developed by the age of 8. Vision screening checks are often carried out by doctors, health visitors and other trained personnel, but these are not as comprehensive as a full eye examination carried out by an optometrist. It's a common misconception that children's eyes cannot accurately be checked until they can read, but in fact, several special tests can be carried out at a very early age. As the child develops and communication skills improve, more detailed tests are also possible. 3-D vision, for example, can be tested with pictures of familiar objects.