Neonatal Eye Problems

New-born babies are able to follow a light with their eyes and turn toward lights. They are very near-sighted at first, and they can focus best on things that are within 25 cm (10 inches) of their faces. Their vision improves over the first three months. In time, his ability to focus will improve and he will see as well as the rest of us.

There are a few things that you might be concerned about, with regard to your new-born baby’s eyes: uncoordinated eyescrossed eyes, and teary eyes.

Eye problems in babies may be congenital (usually genetic or through intrauterine insult) or acquired after birth. Early detection and prompt treatment are essential, in order to avoid lifelong visual impairment. The eyes should be examined at the first neonatal check, when babies should be examined for structural abnormalities such as cataract, corneal opacity, ptosis and retinoblastoma, again at the six-week check, and at every well-child screening visit. Any child with an ocular abnormality should be referred to an ophthalmologist specialising in paediatric patients.

  • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
  • Blocked tear ducts
  • Vision impairment

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