Newborns have limited vision, which gradually improves as their visual system matures. Regular eye exams for children are essential to ensure their eyes are healthy and detect any abnormalities that could impact their vision and safety. If a child fails a vision screening or has a vision complaint, a complete eye exam should be sought from a paediatric ophthalmologist. Children with certain medical conditions or a family history of eye disorders are also at a higher risk for developing paediatric eye disorders.
The paediatric ophthalmologist will evaluate the child's vision, eye alignment, and pupil response to light during the eye examination. Dilating eyedrops and an instrument may be used to check if glasses are needed and to calculate the prescription. The doctor may also inspect the back of the eye, including the optic nerve and retina's health. Additional testing may be necessary depending on symptoms and family history.
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a vision condition caused by improper blood vessel growth in premature newborns' eyes. ROP typically affects newborns weighing 1,250 g or less at birth and born before week 31 of pregnancy. Treatment for ROP depends on the severity of the condition and may include laser treatment, cryotherapy, or anti-VEGF medications. These treatments have their own adverse effects and must be considered carefully by a paediatric ophthalmologist.