Newborn babies arrive equipped with wonderful abilities to see and hear. Although their vision is not as sharp as that of an adult, newborn babies show responses to adult faces in the earliest days of life. Babies also have remarkable responses to sounds. They startle with loud noises and become quiet to the mother's voice.
Sometimes, babies have problems with vision. These problems may be due to a birth defect. Or, they may be caused by the effects of prematurity, neurological problems, genetic disorders, and/or other diseases.
Many eye problems happen at an early age, so it is important that your child receives proper eye care (eye exams and visual screening tests). Vision problems can lead to visual loss, developmental problems, and learning disabilities. Monitoring your child's ability to see is an important part of the health of your growing child.
The following are some of the risk factors that may increase your child's risk of having some problems with his or her vision:
Maternal infections while pregnant
Heart disease in the infant
Problems with the actual structure of the eye present at birth (amblyopia, strabismus, cataracts)
Family history of problems with vision
Trauma to the eye