Your Baby’s Eye Health

Your Baby’s Eye Health

By Jak Burke

Dr. Steven E. Brooks and Dr. Lauren B. Yeager are pediatric ophthalmologists at the new Columbia Doctors Ophthalmology practice. Their office is located at 15 West 65th Street in the Lighthouse Guild International headquarters. Drs. Brooks and Yeager answered my questions about pediatric eye health.

What services do you offer new parents?

Columbia Doctors Ophthalmology practice offers a range of new technical innovations for pediatric vision care and covering a range of vision conditions:

  • Red eye
  • Allergies
  • Blocked tear ducts
  • Lazy eye
  • Droopy eye lid
  • Pediatric cataracts
  • Cross eyes

What should new parents look out for?

Parents should act on their instincts when it comes to their baby’s eyes.  Drs. Brooks and Yeager suggest that parents should:

  • Go straight to their MD for a general assessment of their baby’s vision and general eye health if they feel something is wrong.
  • If parents remain suspicious of an eye condition, for example, a slightly crossed eye or a droopy eyelid, they are advised to attend the Columbia Doctors Ophthalmology practice immediately.

What are other common eye conditions that cause an eye to become red?

There are many conditions that can cause a child’s eye to become red. They include:

  • Conjunctivitis (bacterial or viral)
  • Allergies (including seasonal)
  • Foreign object lodged in the eye
  • Trauma (such as a scratch to the eye)
  • An irritant getting into the eye

What are less common conditions infants and children can suffer from?

Some vision diseases or risks are the result of genetic factors, while others are isolated. They include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Tear duct abnormalities
  • Color blindness
  • Cataracts*

* While cataracts in young children are relatively rare, they do occur. Pediatric cataracts represent a defect in the lens of the eye, and sometimes can indicate a bigger systemic issue.

 Facts parents should know about their new baby’s vision

Infants are usually born far-sighted. As they grow so do their eyes, and the far-sightedness usually goes away. Occasional eye crossing is common in the first 6 months, but should disappear after that, and not be constant.  The visual acuity of children is not fully developed until age 3-4 years. Babies may be more interested in looking at objects with black and white patterns over highly colored objects.

Prenatal health linked to good vision

Good nutrition and frequent medical visits during pregnancy are both recommended for supporting good vision.

Premature babies and vision

Infants born prior to 32 weeks gestation are at a heightened risk of developing vision issues and even blindness. Why? The premature infant’s eyes are not fully developed, and not prepared for the abrupt change in conditions and stresses that birth causes. As part of their NICU treatment premature babies may need to have regular eye exams, and may even need laser or medical treatment to prevent retinal detachments.

Infants and eye-protection

The Drs. at the Columbia Doctors Ophthalmology practice recommend that new parents use infant sunglasses and wide-rimmed hats as an added vision protection. Sunglasses should have lenses that block 100% of UV light.

Why pay the Columbia Doctors Ophthalmology practice a visit?

The facility is brand new, spacious and clean with plenty of room for strollers. The technology, equipment and expertise offered is premium. The clinic takes most forms of health insurance including Medicaid.  And don’t forget to tell your MD about them.

Dr. Steven E. Brooks and Dr. Lauren B. Yeager, the pediatric ophthalmologists – are kind, smart and generous people.  Good vision sets up a child for a long productive life-experience. If you have any doubts about your baby’s vision – pay a visit.

Make an appointment today: 212-305-9535

15 West 65th Street, Midtown, NYC

(in the Lighthouse Guild International headquarters)

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