The eyes are one of the most important organs in the body, and the ability of a person to see properly depends on whether his eyes are healthy. Some individuals have eye-related problems from birth, hence all parents would like to ensure that their child has healthy eyes. Hence parents would like to find out the different stages of eye development, so that they take suitable precautions to take proper care of the pregnant mother and baby immediately after birth. Most people are not aware that the eyes of the baby are not fully developed, so the different stages of eye development of the human eye are described in detail.
1. Initial stage
The eyes will usually start developing on the human embryo 17 days after it is formed. Six weeks after embryo formation, the optic nerve which connects the eyes to the brain is formed. Gradually the other parts of the eye like the lens, iris, tear ducts are formed. During the second trimester, eyelids to protect the lens and iris are formed. Since the conditions in the womb are dark, the eyelids remain close. Similarly, the ciliary muscles that control do not develop initially.
Hence premature babies, born 34 weeks or earlier, do not have their eyes fully developed, and should have their eyes covered, till the eyes are developed. During the third trimester (between 25 to 40 weeks) of pregnancy, the eyes are largely developed. After 30 weeks, the pupils are able to control the amount of light entering the eye. At the same time, the eyes can move and also sleep as required. The eyes are able to focus on objects which are 20-25 cm away.
Though the eyesight of each baby will be different, typically a newborn baby will be able to detect light and blink. He is able to detect larger objects which are less than a foot away. He also can follow moving objects and develops tears. Within 5 months of birth, the baby can notice familiar items located a larger distance away, within 50 cm. He can distinguish between faces and different items. The complete color vision of the baby is developed within 7 months, as the rod and cone cells in the retina mature.
The baby is also able to follow objects which are moving fast. The perception and eye movement of the baby gradually improve with age, and most three-year-olds have developed near and distant vision. At around four years, the eyesight of most children is fully developed.
3. Eye health
Some of the eye health problems are hereditary so in these cases, the baby should undergo an eye exam immediately after birth. Premature infants should also be examined by an eye specialist since they are more likely to have eye problems. In other cases, if the infant has normal vision, he should be taken for an eye exam by a specialist approximately six months after birth.
Parents should also closely monitor their baby so that any vision problems are detected at an early stage. Typically a child should be taken for an eye exam once in at least two years after joining the school.
Also read: The Importance of ‘Vitamin D’ to The Eyes and Sources to Obtain it