Visual development with age


What a Mother Looks Like to a Baby

It is a close-up world for a newborn. Babies are born extremely nearsighted and can see things clearly only when they're about 8-12 inches away which is all the more reason for infants to focus on the faces of their mothers as their mothers hold them close. The newborn might not at least initially look directly into the mother's eyes however. Because the visual processing abilities of newborns are very immature infants tend to focus first on the curves and contrasts of eyebrows hairlines and moving mouths.

Infancy

A newborn can see only in black and white and shades of gray. Infant’s eyes don’t have the ability to accommodate. The pediatricians are able to perform non-verbal testing to assess visual acuity of a newborn, detect nearsightedness and astigmatism, and evaluate the eye teaming and alignment. Color vision by newborn should be similar to that of an adult as well, enabling the infant to see all colors of the rainbow. Visual acuity improves from about 20/400 at birth to approximately 20/25 at 6 months of age. All this is happening because the nerve cells in their retina and brain that control vision are not fully developed.

Childhood and Adolescence

Depth perception, focus, tracking and other aspects of vision continue to develop throughout early and middle childhood. From recent studies in the United States and Australia there is some evidence that the amount of time school aged children spend outdoors, in natural light, may have some impact on whether they develop myopia. The condition tends to get somewhat worse through childhood and adolescence, but stabilizes in adulthood. More prominent myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism are thought to be inherited. Children with this condition may have to wear glasses.

Adulthood

Eye sight is often one of the first senses affected by aging. Lacrimation and accommodation decrease with age too. That is why everybody has to check their eyes when they reach 47—48 years of age. With aging lenses could be a grayish color but provide a good vision. Lenses should be inspected for any opacity. During the eye exam the clinician should inspect to see the optic disk in orange yellowish to creamy pink color. With age the pupil decreases in diameter, and seeing well in dim light becomes harder. The less the pupil is able to adjust to varying light conditions, the less tolerable glare becomes and the more difficult it is to adapt from darkness to bright light or vice versa. As lens loose elasticity it is harder to focus on closely held objects. Loss of focusing power or lens accommodation is known as presbyopia.


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