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How Our Eyesight Develops And Changes: From Birth To Old Age

July 7, 2017

Our eyesight is our most important sense—for most people it’s how they engage with and learn about the world. But our eyes are not the same at 4 as they are at 40. There are developments and changes throughout life that we all go through. The development of our eyes from birth all the way to old age is a fascinating process, and we thought you might want to see how it happens. Take a look. 

At Birth

Babies don’t start out with the eyesight that we have later in life. In fact, even focusing and using their eyes together are skills that must be learned in the first months of life. They also have to learn to use the visual input from their eyes to understand their world and make appropriate decisions in various situations.

At around 5-8 months, babies should be able to focus better, and they should also have improved coordination and depth perception. It’s thought that by five months babies also have good color vision.

Early Life

From the ages of 2-5, children are practicing and honing the visual skills that they developed as babies. Everything from tossing balls to coloring and drawing works to help them build their visual skills and develop new ones.

While this is an exciting time for young children, parents need to be on the lookout for vision problems, especially crossed or lazy eyes. Vision screening at school will happen around 4-5 years of age, but it isn’t the same thing as a comprehensive eye exam. If you’re concerned about your child’s vision, before or after the screening, then consult an optometrist.

School Age

This is a time when the eyes are first put under more strain than they may be used to. A large percentage of the learning that students do is processed visually, and they will also be expected to read every day. Eyesight can change frequently from the ages of 6-18, so it’s important to get regular eye exams. Nearsightedness is the most common problem, but farsightedness or astigmatism are also fairly common.

18-40

In the 20’s and 30’s there won’t be a big change in many people’s eyesight. Those who already have prescriptions may see them change, but many of the most common eye problems come with age.

41-60

In this age range, you may find that you begin experiencing presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness. Your eye’s natural lens begins to stiffen, and this makes it more difficult for your eye to focus on objects that are close by. Bifocals or surgical options like the KAMRA inlay are the most common treatments for presbyopia.

61+

In this age range, you and your eye doctor will want to keep an eye out for more serious conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, or cataracts. Your eyes, like the rest of your body, are getting older, and the risk for vision problems increases.

Luckily, with the right treatment, there’s no reason that you have to let cataracts or other eye ailments keep you from living a full, healthy life. If you’re in the New Jersey area and are experiencing trouble with your vision, then give us a call at OCLI. Whether you need cataract surgery, LASIK, or another procedure, we’ll sit down with you and help you find the best option for your vision health.

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