Vision and Hearing Tests: When to Start

By the time your baby is born, he will already have pretty well-developed hearing. His eyesight, on the other hand, will take some time to develop.

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The doctor may determine that your child needs to wear eyeglasses temporarily to strengthen his eyes.

But in order to ensure your baby’s hearing and sight are developing properly, they need to be checked regularly by the doctor during the first year of life.

Your baby’s hearing will be checked before leaving the hospital after birth. At each of your child’s 6 well visits during the course of his first year of life, the doctor will continue to check his hearing as well as his eyesight.

The hearing test for babies involves the use of a device that produces sounds into your baby’s ears and measures the response.

The eyesight test is a bit more involved. At your child’s first well visit, the doctor will inquire about your family vision history, then use a penlight to examine the entire structure of your baby’s eyes, looking for blocked tear ducts, infection, allergy, and disease. The doctor will also observe your baby’s eye movement – the ability to fix on an object and follow it as it moves – as well as your baby’s reaction to light.

If your doctor discovers a problem with either your child’s hearing or eyesight, he or she will refer you to a specialist, like a pediatric ophthalmologist or a pediatric otolaryngologist.

To schedule an appointment for your baby or toddler to have his eyes and ears checked, use the Vitals Doctor Finder to find a pediatrician near you.

Sources: everydayhealth.com, babycenter.com, and healthfinder.gov