What causes eye defects in babies?

Causes of Eye Defect - VishwaRaj Hospital

A baby usually suffers from eyesight problem when at the stage of their eye muscle development there is some problem. Infants take time to develop their vision, and there may be a time where he needs medical help. So it is essential that once your baby is one year old, you take him/her to a comprehensive eye examination. The diagnosis is necessary for finding the cause of abnormality if any.

One of the most common reasons behind eye problem in infants is a genetic disorder. These genetic disorders include anterior segment dysgenesis, albinism, aniridia, and anophthalmia. However, if you were abusing drugs or alcohol during your pregnancy, your baby will have an eye problem. There is an eye problem named optic nerve hypoplasia in a baby that is born to diabetic mothers.

Signs and symptom of eye problem in babies

Many new parents are not aware of what is normal and abnormal when their baby is growing. You are not well aware of the sign that shows that your baby might be suffering from a problem. However, some symptoms can indicate to you that your child may be suffering from a vision problem. They are:

  • One eye is turning inside and one outside: There may be some in the early days when you will find your baby crossed eye. But if you start noticing it regularly, you should consult your doctor.
  • Excessive tearing: It is not a problem when baby produce some tears when they cry. But if your child makes excessive tearing, this could be because of blockage in the tear duct.
  • Extremely sensitive to light: Babies in their early stage are moderately susceptible to light. But when two or three months pass by, they become accustomed to it. If you find your baby still sensitive to light, it could be because of elevated eye pressure.
  • Unable to track objects: Babies develop their abilities at a different speed. However, if your baby cannot track the item after three months, his eyes are not functioning. So it is best to show him to a doctor to check his visual coordination issues.
  • Tilting head in one direction: If your baby has a tilted head or is turning it to one side it is not normal.
  • Red eyelids: If your baby has a red eyelid, along with a crusted-eyelid, it is a sign of an eye infection.

The above sign does not indicate appropriately that your baby is suffering from a visionary issue. However, it is better to get it checked by a doctor before it is too late. If the doctor finds any suspicion, then he may refer you to a pediatric ophthalmologist. They are specialists in a child’s vision problem.

Precautions you can take to avoid eye problems.

Parents tend to panic if their baby is likely to suffer from eye problems. However, there are some precautions that you can follow to avoid it:

  • Periodic checkups: After your child has reached three or above, you should take him for regular comprehensive checkups. Appointment with the doctor every year ensures that your baby is not suffering from an eye problem. A vision problem can result from a lot of things like school screening, digital device use, etc.
  • Take Breaks: The best way to take a break between screening times is the 20-20-20 rule. This rule means in every 20 minutes your child should look for a thing 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Sufficient lighting: Make sure your child uses the device only in an adequate light room; the pressure should not come to his eyes. Also, during study time, the lamp should face at his desk, not on his face. The computer screen should not glare up with reflection it must be angled.
  • Limited screen time: Those young eyes cannot bear too much of the screening time. So your two years old should not use a digital device for more than 2 hours. Whereas, infants should not use a digital device at all. It is best to spend free time playing on the ground. Spending your baby’s free time outside is best for every aspect of his health. The study also says that playing outside can lessen the risk of nearsightedness in your baby.
  • Protection against UV rays: Make sure when he is out in the sun, he gets full protection against UV rays. The best way of protection is to cover his eyes with sunglasses.

Birth defects

Some of the birth defects babies suffer from are:

  • Coloboma: There is a tissue missing in a particular part of the eye, like in the iris, optic nerve, eyelid, or retina. The problem can be in single or both eyes.
  • Hypertelorism: Here the eye spaces are wide and are most common among several congenital syndromes. This congenital syndrome means your baby has various congenital disabilities altogether.
  • Hypotelorism: In this disease, your babies suffer from closely spaced eyes defect.
  • Microphthalmia: In this defect, your baby will have a small eyeball of single or both eyes.
  • Anophthalmia: If your baby is suffering from more than 50 congenital syndromes your baby may experience a complete lack of eyeball.

Before your baby’s birth doctor may be able to detect eye defects in your baby through an ultrasound report. He may collect your blood sample for genetic testing. Whereas, after birth, he can see many eye problems through physical examinations.


Babies are sensitive to a lot of things, so they need extra care and attention. Make sure you take proper measures to protect him from every possible defect. Also do not miss any routine checkups for early detection of the problem. Keep your child away from digital technologies. Follow the traditional method of keeping your baby entertained; it is always better than today.

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    Department Of Ophthalmology
    The Department of Ophthalmology at VishwaRaj Hospital is present to help you in getting the perfect vision. The competent team of doctors at the Department of Ophthalmology treats all diseases of the eyes and orbits and offers full service of eye care and cataract surgery.
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