Let’s Talk About Your Baby With Big Eyes – All You Need To Know

It seems there are only two things adults find universally cute: cats and babies. Look around YouTube, and you’ll discover some of the trending videos are those that feature them (better if they’re all together).

Why do we find babies pretty, cuddly, and cute? According to research, it has something to do with instinct. Nature has made it this way so we’d be more than willing to take care or nurture them.

But even if the world agrees babies are cute, we do tend to have our preferences. And while every parent will say their infants top the adorability chart, most look for certain criteria. According to studies, people prefer babies with small faces and big eyes – yes, the “anime look.”

Not only are eyes beautiful, but they are also very expressive, and infants are great in that area. When they love, their eyes light up with glee and delight. They capture the perfect essence of wonderment or curiosity. Big eyes also highlight the color of the eyes, which only add more beauty to the face. 

Learn More about the Eyes

But perhaps the eyes are such a prominent part of the face of babies they are also a common subject of misconceptions. One of these is they are already born with a fully developed set of eyes.

The eyes develop early in utero. By the time the baby is already two weeks old, these organs will start to form. They will continue to grow and develop as the fetus also achieves maturity. That doesn’t mean, however, babies already have mature eyes once they’re out in the world.

For one, the size of their eyes will change over time. According to American Academy of Ophthalmology, the eyes of an adult will measure around 24 millimeters in length. Newborns, meanwhile, will have about 16.5 millimeters.

Eye facts from the College of Medicine of University of Illinois also point out that the size of the infant eyes is around 75 percent of that of an adult. Moreover, both references reveal they will grow significantly within the next two years of the baby’s life. There’s another one when they reach the age of adolescence.

It’s also not true that their eye color will remain the same. It’s possible for them to change depending on the amount of melanin, which refers to the pigments of color the skin cells produce. Many factors affect its production, such as genetics and exposure to sunlight. The more the person is generally exposed to the sun, the more melanin their skin produces. It is the body’s defense mechanism against the harmful UV rays.

Caucasian babies are more prone to experience changes in eye color as their skin cells gradually build up melanin. For this reason, their blue eyes may become brown or hazel. The best time to determine the exact color of their eyes is when they’re around 9 months old. By then, the color is already permanent.

Most of all, not all big eyes are cute. Some of them may require medical attention and even urgent treatment. 

The Problem with Big Eyes

via modernmedicine.com

A baby with big eyes should not cause you any alarm, but you need to focus on the concurrent signs and symptoms. They may tell you your baby’s sight is in trouble. Some of these conditions are the following:

  • Childhood Glaucoma – Also known as pediatric glaucoma, it is a rare eye condition characterized by vision loss. The problem is usually congenital, specifically poor development of the drainage of the eyes. In turn, intraocular pressure builds up and slowly damages the optic nerves, which delivers visual signals to the brain. Some of its symptoms are unusually large eyes, light sensitivity, and constant tearing.
    Babies diagnosed with glaucoma can be treated with surgery or medications such as eye drops that help keep the pressure down or at a normal range. None of these, though, will restore the lost vision. 
  • Megalocornea – It refers to an unusually large size of the cornea. Found at the front, it is on top of the lens, iris, and pupil. Its job is to help refract light as it enters the eyes, allowing the organ to gain focusing power. Children and babies with the condition usually have corneas measuring at least 13 millimeters. This may occur along with childhood glaucoma, or it can be primary megalocornea. The biggest difference is if it’s the latter, the condition is non-progressive.
    Babies with primary megalocornea do not carry the risk of vision loss or rupture of the cornea. In fact, they can still have good-quality eyesight, although some may eventually develop refractive issues such as astigmatism (or blurry vision).

Infant Eye Examination

Parents can spend their time measuring their children’s eyes. Besides, not all eye conditions can be detected by the naked eye. Instead, they require the expertise of a pediatrician.

Right after babies are born, they go through their first newborn test. The pediatrician will assess factors such as respiration, breathing, and condition of the main organs including the eyes. As your baby grows, especially during the first two years, the pediatrician conducts almost the same kind of evaluation every visit.

What exactly happens? Using a penlight, the pediatrician will check the exterior of the eyes, including the sides. The doctor will take note of the alignment, movement, and size. He or she will also determine if the development of the eyes or vision is in accordance to the expected development based on the baby’s age.

He or she may also obtain your family’s medical history as some conditions can be passed on to children, including infants. Some groups are also prone to certain eye diseases. For example, megalocornea is X-linked, so it occurs in males.

If the doctor notices anything different or a potential problem, he or she either provides the treatment or refers you to a specialist such as a pediatric ophthalmologist.

By making sure your baby sees his or her pediatrician on a regular basis, you can help prevent any possible complications that may reduce your child’s vision later. 

Stacy Belk

My name is Stacy Belk, I am a nurse, midwife and mother of two children. I would like to share my experiences in taking care of children including activities to do together, recipes to cook, good products to buy and health protection to your family. Do a search now if you like, all you need is here.

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