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How To Support Healthy Eye Development

July 25, 2022

Few people bother about the importance of supporting healthy eye development unless they are diagnosed with an eye disease or visual development delay at a very young age. Here at Beach Eye Medical Group, we are passionate about supporting healthy vision development and care for lifelong healthy eyesight.

Eye Development from Gestation to 72 Months

The human eye begins to develop from the third week of gestation and measures 16.5 millimeters at birth. At this stage, newborns perceive blurred visual stimuli and their eye color may change. Their visual capacity develops over time, with complete perception abilities at two years of age when they can integrate their visual perception with psychomotor development.

While it is not until the late teens that one can consider the eyes fully developed, there are some milestones that are indicative of good eye development.

Visual Milestones

  • Birth
    While the newborn’s eyesight may be very poor at this stage, they will blink at bright light or touch.
  • 1 – 6 months
    During this stage, your baby will start following objects and fixate their eyes on their parents. Their full-color vision is developed during this stage and they turn toward objects and reach out to touch them.
  • 7 – 12 months
    Their depth perception is developed and they respond to games like peek-a-boo.
  • 12 – 24 months
    Hand-eye coordination starts to develop, they can focus on objects near or in the distance, and recognize themselves in the mirror.
  • 24 – 36 months
    By now your toddler almost has 20/20 vision and is able to recognize, name, and use certain objects.
  • 36 – 72 months
    At this stage, your child’s visual capacity is well developed, and they learn to identify letters, their depth perception is completely developed and they begin their “learn to read” journey.

Vision Screening Can Help Identify Early Eye Conditions and Disease

Regular eye screening can help protect your child from various conditions that may impact their visual development. Our physicians at Beach Eye Medical Group see many pediatric patients throughout Huntington Beach, Irvine, and Long Beach for the prevention and treatment of conditions affecting their vulnerable eyes while their vision is still developing.

  • Refractive errors
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (cross-eye)
  • Ptosis (droopy eyelid)
  • Cloudy eye
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Stye
  • Blocked tear duct

Some of these conditions may go unnoticed by parents and caregivers. Therefore it is important to understand the milestones of eye development and to ensure regular pediatric check-ups are attended, including vision screening. Contact our office at 714-965-9696 if you have any concerns regarding your child’s eyes.

Proactive Ways that Encourage Vision Development

Prevention is always better than cure, and we have these tips that can help you be a proactive participant in the development of your child’s eyes for lifelong healthy vision.

  • Provide engaging colorful stimuli with contrasts and patterns during the early newborn to toddler stage and play games that stimulate hand-eye coordination.
  • A healthy diet that is rich in zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, and E.
  • Limit screen time and ensure protective eyewear is worn that is made with shatterproof plastic.

Good eyesight adds color to life. We are here to offer informative guidance in eyecare. Give us a call!

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