Children's Health and Wellness

Visual Screening Overview

Newborn babies arrive equipped with wonderful abilities to see and hear. Although their vision is not as sharp as that of an adult, newborn babies show responses to adult faces in the earliest days of life. Babies also have remarkable responses to sounds. They startle with loud noises and become quiet to the mother's voice.

Sometimes, babies have problems with vision. These problems may be due to a birth defect, or may be caused by the effects of prematurity, neurological problems, genetic disorders, and/or other diseases.

Child having eye test

Since many eye problems occur at an early age, it is important that your child receives proper eye care (eye examinations and visual screening tests). Vision problems can lead to visual loss, developmental problems, and learning disabilities. Monitoring your child's ability to see is an important part of the health of your growing child.

Risk factors for having problems with vision

The following are some of the risk factors that may increase your child's risk of having some problems with his or her vision:

  • Maternal infections while pregnant

  • Premature infant

  • Heart disease in the infant

  • Problems with the actual structure of the eye present at birth (amblyopia, strabismus, cataracts)

  • Family history of problems with vision

  • Hearing problems

  • Trauma to the eye

Online Source: American Optometric Associationhttp://www.aoa.org/x5502.xml
Online Editor: Geller, Arlene
Online Medical Reviewer: Bogus, William J OD, FAAO
Online Medical Reviewer: Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
Date Last Reviewed: 3/27/2013
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