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Eyesight of my child. Is it normal ?

Children less than 2 months of age.

 During this period the fixation ability (i.e. ability to maintain constant gaze on the object of interest) of the child develops. This is quite a critical period. If visual development is affected in this period the eyesight of the child can be seriously affected.

 Immediately consult a doctor (ophthalmologist) if you feel that there is any kind of whitish / greyish opacity in any eye.

 If your child was born prematurely or was kept in the intensive care unit under oxygen at the time of birth, consult your paediatrician or ophthalmologist as such children can suffer from an eye disease known as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

 Consult an ophthalmologist if you feel that the eyes of your child are constantly showing jerky movements (nystagmus).

Children between 2 months to 2 years.

 By 1-2 months the child starts fixing eyesight on the mother and close objects. This becomes steadier with age. Both the eyes now show more co-ordinated movements and can follow objects like toys. If you feel that the eyes of your child just show wandering movements and do not stay steady, consult an ophthalmologist.

 By 2-3 months the child should be responsive to your facial expressions and movement of toys etc. If you feel your child is ignoring common objects of interest and having a vacant look, consult an ophthalmologist.

 If you feel there is a squint (i.e. both eyes do not seem to look in the same direction when the child looks straight) or if there is constant jerking movement of the eyes (nystagmus) do consult an ophthalmologist.

 Immediately consult a doctor (ophthalmologist) if you feel that there is any kind of whitish / greyish opacity in any eye.

Children between 2 years to school going age.

 Any whitish / grayish opacity in the eye, squint and nystagmus (all described above) remain an indication to consult an ophthalmologist at all ages.

 Try covering one eye of your child with the palm of your hand and see if your child still maintains gaze and fixation with the other open eye. Try to assess if your child repeatedly resists covering of one particular eye. Children would resist covering of eyes but the resistance should be nearly same for both eyes. If one eye shows wandering movement and there is preferential resistance to closure of one eye consult an ophthalmologist as these indicate low vision in one eye.

School going children

 Any whitish / grayish opacity in the eye, squint and nystagmus (all described above) remain an indication to consult an ophthalmologist at all ages.

 Ask your child if he/she has trouble seeing the blackboard from a distance? If the answer is yes you need to get his/her vision checked.

 Does your child hold his/her books very close to his/her eyes in order to read? If yes you need to get his/her vision checked.

 Does your child always want to sit closer to the television? If yes you need to get his/her vision checked.

 Does your child constantly rub his/her eyes or squeezes them frequently? If yes you need to get his/her vision checked.

 Alternately close one eye of your child with your palm and ask him/her if he/she sees equally well with each eye individually? If the answer is no you need to get his/her vision checked.

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