The Four Stages of Visual Growth

Serving Poughkeepsie, Fishkill and Nearby Areas of the Hudson Valley

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Newborns, while possessed with the full visual capacity to see objects and colors, can only see 8-15 inches away. Over time, distance vision improves, as does the development of color vision, allowing babies with healthy vision to see the world with more clarity right around four months. However, vision development does not stop at this point. In fact, it continues throughout our lives.

Birth to Age 18

During our beginning years and through adolescence, the eyes, along with the body and brain, will continue to develop. It is not unusual for several vision fluctuations to occur during this time, though many people are able to see clearly without assistance from glasses or contact lenses.

Unless problems arise, such as not being able to see projections at school or finding it difficult to read, vision exams can be spaced two years apart during this stage of visual growth. If difficulties seeing present themselves, a quick visit to one of our offices can help detect if a refractive error such as myopia or hyperopia is present and allow us to provide the most effective solution for your child’s needs.

Ages 18-40

During the adult years, we reach the milestone of “ocular maturity,” where vision typically stabilizes and fluctuations are much less common. For most men and women, maintaining routine vision exams every two years is completely acceptable at this stage of life.

Refractive errors, including astigmatism, should have been diagnosed and treated by adulthood, but ocular maturity opens up new treatment options, such as LASIK and PRK, that are not suitable for people under the age of 18.

While vision is most stable during this stage of life, it is important to take steps that help prevent vision problems down the line. These include:

During your vision exams, we would be happy to discuss lifestyle choices that will serve to protect your vision well into the future.

Ages 40-65

During our middle ages, the internal lens of the eye begins to harden. This condition is called presbyopia and it is an unavoidable part of aging.

Symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • Blurry vision or difficulties reading
  • Eye strain, headaches, or fatigue when doing close-up work
  • The need to hold reading materials close to the face in order to see

At this stage of life, it is best to visit our Poughkeepsie or Fishkill office yearly for exams. Vision changes can occur rapidly during this time, but treatment is often as simple as reading glasses or progressive lenses. Other options, such as the KAMRA® Inlay can also be useful in treating presbyopia, particularly for individuals who would prefer to avoid prescription eyewear.

Diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices will begin to have a large impact on the future health of your eyes during your middle years. Making smart choices will go a long way in helping to prevent age-related vision loss, which becomes increasingly common after the age of 60.

Ages 65+

Eye growth continues as we age into our 60s and beyond. At this point, it is best to visit our office every year or as soon as vision changes begin. Many age-related vision disorders are treatable, though not all are curable, making swift treatment the best course of action for preserving eyesight.

Age-related vision disorders that are common at this stage of life include:

It is important to remember that these vision disorders are not always preventable, although there are many lifestyle choices made during earlier stages of visual growth that can have a profound impact on your risks. For example, age-related macular degeneration is four-times more likely in people who have used tobacco, while cataracts are directly linked to excessive UV exposure. On the other hand, eating a diet that is high in antioxidants and certain minerals (and low in fats and sugar) has been shown to reduce risks for a number of vision disorders that can occur with age. When you come to our office for your routine examinations, we can discuss these things with you in greater detail to make sure you are doing everything possible to delay or prevent age-related vision loss.

Contact Us Today!

To schedule your next appointment at our Fishkill or Poughkeepsie office, please call 845-454-1025 today. Seeta Eye Centers maintains two Hudson Valley locations to serve people living in Highland, Red Oaks Mill, and surrounding areas of New York.