Vision Problems by Age

Eye exams are crucial at any age in order to detect possible problems. 

It’s important to get regular vision exams to maintain optimal eye health, even if your vision seems perfect and your eyes look and feel healthy. If you are having eye issues, timing is of the essence to detect potential problems and begin treatment. Below is a listing of eye issues broken out by age that may require the attention of a doctor.

Infant (birth to age 1)

Believe it or not, babies should get their first comprehensive eye exam between the ages of 6 to 12 months old. While an infant cannot verbalize any issues they may be having with their vision, below are some common signs that there might be a problem.

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  • Not achieving traditional developmental milestones
  • Excessive tearing
  • Red or encrusted eyelids
  • Constant turning of eyes
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • Unusual appearance of pupil

Toddler through youth (2-5)

As your child becomes more verbal, they may be able to express issues they are having with their vision or eyes. There are some signs to look for that indicate the need to see a doctor.

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  • Sitting too close to the television
  • Holding a book too close to the face
  • Frequent squinting
  • Frequent tilting of the head
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Short attention span (varies by age)
  • Turning eyes in or out
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Having difficulties with coordination
  • Avoiding detailed activities

Adolescent through teen (6-18)

As children get older, their anxiety over having issues with their eyes grows. If they are unwilling to talk about it, there are some signs you can watch for to know if they should see a doctor.

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  • Avoiding reading and visual work
  • Holding a book too close to the face
  • Losing place while reading
  • Lower level of comprehension
  • Difficulty remembering what is read
  • Discomfort and fatigue of eyes
  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
  • Frequent tilting of the head
  • Seeing double
  • Turning eyes in or out

Adult (19-40)

Entering the work force provides added stress to your eyes. Be aware of the following issues, and schedule an appointment with your doctor if any of these become a problem.

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  • Sore, tired eyes
  • Itching or burning sensations in the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty focusing

Adult (41-60)

Our bodies obviously change with age, and our eyes are no exception. If you or a parent fall into this age category, be aware of the following issues, which warrant a visit to the doctor.

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  • Need more light to see or read
  • Difficulty reading and doing close work
  • Problems with glare
  • Changes in color perception
  • Reduced tear production
  • Changes in vision
  • Seeing “floaters” or “flashers”
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Seeing distorted images

Seniors (60+)

One of the biggest concerns for vision problems for those over the age of 60 is driving. The following issues will make driving more difficult, and impede the safety of the driver, passengers, and others on the road.

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  • Seeing glare from headlights and streetlights
  • Change in color perception
  • Difficulty seeing in low light or at night time