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Birth

  • Basal tear production (the continuous tearing to keep the eye surface moist) in the full-term infant is similar to that of an adult
  • Visual acuity equivalent to Snellen 20/400
  • Infant can’t focus farther than 8-15 inches away, so prefers looking at close objects, especially objects with sharp contrast or bright colors

1-2 months old

  • Able to fix eyes on an object, light or face.  Focus is brief with a gaze shift after a few seconds
  • Pupillary light reaction is well developed

2-3 months old

  • Color vision is present
  • Visual fixation is well developed by about 2 months
  • Infant moves eyes and head together
  • Eyes track (smooth visual pursuit) targets vertically and horizontally, visual following is well developed by about 3 months
  • May have blink reflex to visual threat

4 – 6 months

  • Regards face or interesting object with steady conjugate gaze in all fields of vision
  • Visual acuity reaches equivalent of Snellen 20/30; vision is good enough to notice small details
  • Eyes should be well aligned
  • Reaches for and grasps objects; depth perception is maturing
  • Eyes track without moving head
  • Eyes track past midline
  • Blink reflex to visual threat is present

7-12 months

  • Color vision at adult levels
  • Depth perception is developed
  • Notices small objects
  • Coordination between vision and gross and fine motor movement/hand coordination is increasing

1 year old

  • Focus on an object is consistent. Child will visually follow an interesting object as it is moved peripherally

2-3 years old

  • At about 2 ½ to 3 years of age many normally developing children can complete visual acuity testing with picture cards, matching activities, or similar tests. (See age appropriate visual acuity testing)

7 years old

  • Stereoacuity (depth perception or binocular vision) at adult level