Did you know that your vision changes throughout your lifetime? There are six major stages of vision development, categorized by age: Birth, Preschool, Elementary and Teen, Adult, Mature, and Senior. Throughout each phase, there are various vision milestones that should be met, as well as vision problems that can occur.
The Six Stages of Vision Development:
Birth – During an infant’s first months of life, their vision is constantly developing. Here are some milestones your baby should be making in the first year of life:
- 1 to 3 months: Begin to focus on people and objects
- 3 months: Follow a moving object
- 5 to 8 months: See various colors
- 8 to 12 months: Improve eye-hand-body coordination
If your baby has red and crusty eyelids, excessively teary eyes, severe sensitivity to light, or has developed a white pupil, you should contact an eye doctor. These could be indicators of possible vision problems for your baby. It is important to note that a baby’s first official eye examination should occur between 6 and 12 months of age.
Preschool – The second stage of vision development is all about eye-hand-body coordination. For preschoolers, the simultaneous use of their eyes, hands, and body is a complex cognitive task. Preschool age children should have a full eye exam by the age of 3. As you watch your child interact with others and play independently, be on the lookout for possible indicators of visual development problems, such as:
- Sitting too close to objects or holding objects too close
- Excessive eye rubbing, head-tilting, or squinting
- Light sensitivity
- Coordination issues
- Activity avoidance
Elementary and Teen – As your child continues to grow, the demands on their vision are much greater during the elementary and teenage years. During this phase of vision development, nearsightedness and other vision conditions are often discovered. If you (or your child’s teacher) notice any of the following symptoms in your elementary age child or teenager, you should contact your child’s eye doctor:
- Trouble staying on task
- Uncomfortable or tired often
- Avoids reading
Vision problems during these school age years can lead to learning delays and behavioral issues, so it is important not to ignore these signs. Regular eye exams are especially important during this phase.
Adulthood – This stage of vision development focuses on adults ranging in age from 19 to 40 years old. During this stage, it is very important to maintain the groundwork for supporting proper eye health and vision care. The following healthy habits should be taken by all adults:
- Eat nutritious foods full of vitamins
- Exercise regularly
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes
- Monitor your overall wellbeing by attending regular physicals, including eye exams
Mature – Around age 40, major vision changes typically begin due to the aging process. If you have chronic health problems, a medical condition, history of eye disease, or a visually demanding occupation, the risk for developing eye and vision problems increases. Indicators of health of vision problems during this stage include:
- Inconsistent or changes in vision
- Increased number of floaters and/or flashes
- Loss of vision (such as peripheral vision)
- Distorted images
It is important to schedule yearly eye examinations with your trusted eye doctor during this stage. Be sure to communicate any vision changes with your doctor immediately.
Senior – Over the age of 60, poor eye health and vision problems can rapidly affect your lifestyle. Common vision problems that occur during this phase include:
Vision trouble related to driving, reading and other activities should be discussed with your primary eye doctor. Medications can also affect your eyesight. Be sure to look for warning signs and discuss all changes to your vision with your eye doctor while attending yearly eye exams.
Premier Eye Care Group is here to guide you along the way!
With yet another school year starting, it’s important for you to find an eye doctor that your family can trust. Here at Premier Eye Care Group, our team of doctors are ready to provide the finest family eye care in Harrisburg, Dauphin, Cumberland, York and Perry counties in Pennsylvania. We are committed to serving our community and patients of all ages with quality, compassion, and integrity.
Voted Simply the Best® by Harrisburg and Camp Hill magazine readers for many years, as well as Susquehanna Style Magazine’s “Who’s Who,” our team of top-rated eye doctors is dedicated to your vision needs. We offer a variety of vision services, including LASIK, dry eye treatment, and glasses and contact lenses.
Call us today at (717) 232-0843 or contact us to request an appointment for any eye-related concerns. Clear vision is in plain sight at Premier Eye Care Group in Harrisburg, PA!