Newborn babies are delicate and require proper care and attention to keep their eyes healthy. Here are 10 tips for ensuring optimal eye care for your newborn.
Please make sure to follow these eyecare tips to keep your baby’s eyesight healthy and clear.
10 Eyecare Tips For Newborn Babies
1. Clean their eyes regularly
Newborns produce a lot of tears, and this can lead to gunk around their eyes. It is essential to clean the area gently with a warm, damp cloth.
2. Avoid treating a baby’s “pink eye” on your own
It’s important to avoid treating a baby’s “pink eye” on your own. Babies are susceptible to eye infections which can cause the eye to appear pink or red. Using over-the-counter eye drops or other remedies, such as breast milk or urine, is not recommended. Some eye drops safe for adults can be dangerous for babies and attempting to treat the infection with home remedies like breast milk or urine can actually worsen the situation. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional.
3. Avoid exposing them to cigarette smoke
Second-hand smoke is a risk factor for eye problems in newborns. Make sure to keep your newborn away from smokers and smoke-filled environments.
4. Always check for any sign of infection
Newborns are susceptible to eye infections, such as conjunctivitis. Symptoms include red, swollen, or watery eyes. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
5. Always monitor your baby actions
Keep a close eye on your baby’s development. By three months old, babies should be able to track moving objects and reach for things in front of them. If your baby is not doing this, or seems to avoid looking at brightly colored toys, it’s important to see an eye care professional.
6. Schedule a six-month eye exam
It is recommended to schedule an eye exam for your baby at six months old, even if there are no obvious symptoms. This exam helps to ensure proper eye development and detect any issues early on. Eye doctors can perform non-verbal tests to assess your baby’s vision. Most eye conditions in newborns can be quickly resolved if addressed promptly. It is crucial to be proactive and seek professional care to ensure the preservation of your baby’s vision and overall health.
7. Encourage visual stimulation
Encourage visual stimulation from a young age by placing toys and other objects within their line of sight. This can help improve their eyesight and eye-hand coordination.
8. Handle your baby’s eyes with care
Be careful when handling your newborn’s eyes, as they are delicate and prone to injury. When dressing your newborn, be sure not to catch their eyes with clothes, hats, or other objects.
9. Pay attention to any signs of crossed eyes
It’s not uncommon for newborns to have “crossed eyes,” which is also known as squint or strabismus. This usually happens because a baby’s eyes are still learning to work in harmony. Most of the time, the issue will resolve on its own by the time the baby is 4 months old. But if you notice any signs of a crossed eye, it’s important to have your baby’s eyes checked by a professional. This will help determine if the issue is due to a more serious eye condition.
10. Shield their eyes from the sun
Direct sunlight can be dangerous for newborns, particularly their eyes. To keep their eyes safe, use a hat or cover them with a blanket or stroller canopy to provide shade.
What can I use to clean my newborn’s eyes?
To properly clean your newborn’s eyes, it is recommended to use a warm, damp cotton ball or cloth. Avoid using soap or any harsh cleaning agents, as they can cause discomfort to your baby’s delicate eyes. When wiping, be gentle and avoid rubbing the eye directly. If there is any eye discharge, clean it by wiping from the corners of the eye towards the nose to prevent spreading it further. If you have any concerns about your baby’s eye health, it’s best to seek the advice of a pediatrician or eye doctor.
What causes eye problems in newborns?
Eye problems in newborns can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, infections, injury, and certain medical conditions. In some cases, the underlying cause of the eye problem may be unknown. For example, congenital cataracts, which are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye, can be caused by genetics, infections during pregnancy, or other factors. Other common eye problems in newborns include strabismus (crossed eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye), and nystagmus (involuntary eye movement). In some cases, the mother’s exposure to certain medications or toxins during pregnancy may also contribute to eye problems in newborns. It’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect that your newborn has an eye problem, so that it can be diagnosed and treated promptly.
How can I treat my newborns eye infection?
To treat a newborn’s eye infection, you should consult with a pediatrician or eye doctor. They will determine the best course of treatment based on the type and severity of the infection. This may involve using prescription antibiotics, antiviral or antifungal eye drops or ointments, or other medications. Additionally, keeping the eyes clean and avoiding contact with others who have eye infections can help prevent the spread of the infection. It’s important to seek medical attention promptly if you suspect that your baby has an eye infection.