Identifying vision disorders in babies is very important. Poor vision can slow a child's development in a variety of ways. In adults, untreated vision disorders can dramatically affect function and wellbeing.

Behaviors in infants or children that may be telling you about poor vision:

  • Doesn't blink at sudden bright lights
  • Doesn't respond to familiar faces, but does to familiar voices
  • Not interested in books, TV, brightly colored toys
  • Ignores silent objects, but does turn toward noisy ones
  • Doesn't reach for things placed in front of them
  • Doesn't move about very much
  • Squints or tilts head to see better

Adult behaviors that may communicate about vision disorders:

  • Doesn't make or maintain eye contact
  • No longer recognizes people
  • Finds lighting too bright or too dim
  • Has trouble seeing in dimly lit rooms
  • Holds reading materials too close to eyes, or at arm's length
  • Changes leisure time activities
  • No longer enjoys television
  • Often bumps into things; moves about cautiously
  • Squints or tilts the head to see
  • Finds it hard to practice table manners
  • Often changes eye glass prescriptions
  • Over-cautious driver
  • Changes personal appearance, less care with grooming

Other factors that may indicate the presence of a vision disorder include:

  • Friends, family members are concerned about person's vision
  • Family history of vision problems
  • Headache, nausea
  • Crossed eyes, eyes that don't focus together, jerky eye movements
  • Eyes are red, irritated: dry, itchy, burning, watery, painful; eyelids red-rimmed, crusty, swollen
  • Vision is blurred, double; seeing spots, haloes, faint images
  • Change in eye color (the iris)
  • Eyes stick out too much or seem shrunken or too small
  • Pupils look white, milky, have spots
  • Pupils are different sizes: don't get bigger in the dark and smaller in the light
  • When photos are taken, the "red-eye" has blotches, or looks white instead of red
  • Eyes don't close all the way when person sleeps
  • Diabetes