Health Information

Anatomy of the Eye

The structures of the eye include the cornea, iris, pupil, macula, retina, and the optic nerve.

Normal Vision

Light enters the eye through the cornea and passes through the pupil. It then hits the lens, which focuses the light rays on the retina. The optic nerve carries the image from the retina to the brain.

Age-Appropriate Vision Milestones

An infant's eyes are sometimes uncoordinated and may look cross-eyed. Within two months, the child can follow faces and objects and look at his or her hands.

Eye Care Specialists

An ophthalmologist is either a medical doctor (M.D.) or an osteopathic physician (D.O.). An optometrist is a doctor of optometry (O.D.) but is not a medical doctor. An optician is a technician who fits eyeglasses.

Eye Examinations and Visual Screening

At 6 months of age, an infant should have a vision screening during a well-baby visit. In particular, the doctor should check how well the eyes work together.

Types of Visual Screening Tests for Infants and Children

Many types of vision tests can be used to check your child's ability to see. Some of them can be used at any age, and some are used based on your child's age and understanding.

Keep an Eye on Your Child's Vision

It's best to catch vision problems while a child is very young. Later, problems are harder to correct.

Signs and Symptoms of Potential Eye Problems

Symptoms of eye problems in children include crossed eyes, redness in the eyes, squinting, and excessive tearing.

Problems with Vision

Eye disorders in children are either refractive or non-refractive errors. Refractive errors are those caused by the shape of the eye. Non-refractive errors are caused by disease.

Refractive Errors in Children

The most common refractive errors in children are nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Crossed-Eyes (Strabismus)

A child with strabismus has one or both eyes that turn inward, outward, up, or down. At times, more than one of these conditions are present.

Glasses Can Help Even Young Children

Doctors who specialize in children's eye care say children usually become near- or farsighted between ages 6 and 12. But even infants can wear glasses if they need help to see well.

Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses

A child who needs vision correction may wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. Either choice comes in a range of options.

Eye Care/Avoiding Eye Injuries

Children should wear protective eyewear during sports and recreational activities. In the classroom, they should wear eye protection when doing lab experiments.

First-Aid for the Eyes

A child with a foreign object in the eye should not rub the eye. An eye wash may be able to flush the object out of the eye. If that doesn't work, seek medical attention immediately.

Cosmetic Safety for Adolescent Contact Lens Wearers

Cosmetics are among some of the most common sources of problems for contact lens wearers. Misusing cosmetics can lead to severe adverse reactions.