Newborn vision

Today I held a brand new grandchild in my arms.  Since we just discussed vision in newborn infants in the last section in class, I knew that as he was looking back at me that he could only see fuzzy gray outlines.  However, I noticed that his eyes would occasionally drift different directions at different times and wondered if this was related to his lack of clear vision or lack of strength in newborn eye muscles, so I tried to look it up online.  I found that it is common for newborns to have eyes that cross or move different directions and this is due the their undeveloped vision.  This will disappear and the eyes will become coordinated as their vision becomes clearer. 

However, there are cases that as the infant grows older, the eyes do not correct.  A physical disorder called Strabismus is a condition where one eye may look normally at an object while the other eye points in another direction.  This disorder can lead to amblyopia, which is also referred to as lazy eye.  If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to functional blindness.  Although the eye is capable of seeing, the vision is so blurred that the brain basically turns off the use of this eye and only uses the strong eye.    The corrective options include using an eye patch to force the brain to use the weaker eye, visual exercises, eye drops, corrective lenses, or surgery.  It is important to recognize and correct vision early in order to avoid delays in motor development such as grasping, crawling, and walking, and to prevent permanent damage. 

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/strabismus.htm

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/amblyopia.htm

Deanna Cote’

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~ by dscote on September 20, 2009.

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