Vision Changes Over a Lifetime

Did you know that vision changes over a lifetime? The six stages of vision, or vision development, are grouped by age – Birth, Preschool, Elementary/Teen, Adult, Mature, and Senior.

In each phase, the developments and concerns change. While eyesight problems and eye diseases can develop at any point, there are key milestones that are typical for the eyes during each life period.


Dr. Shearer and Deerwood Family Eyecare can help you care for those you love most, starting at the earliest ages.

Vision is still developing for the first months of an infant’s life. You can expect an infant to begin to focus (0-3 months), follow a moving object (3 months), see color (5-8 months), and improve eye-hand-body coordination (8-12 months).

Indicators of potential baby vision problems:

A baby’s first eye exam should occur between six to twelve months of age.


A preschool aged child should have greatly improved eye-hand-body coordination. During this phase, crossed eyes (eyes turn in or out) or lazy eye (lack of clear vision in one eye) are often more apparent. Developmental delays are also a concern at this age, as this can be caused by a vision problem.

Indicators of potential preschool age visual development problems:

A preschool age child should have a full eye exam by age three. Unless there are other concerns from doctor or parent, the next eye exam is generally around age five.

Although schools generally have eye tests to quickly diagnose common eyesight problems, they should not replace a full eye exam by an optometrist. Most of these types of screenings are only looking for one problem and may miss other vision problems outside of the scope of the test. Dr. Shearer and his Deerwood Family Eyecare team will spend the time and attention to focus on you and your children as individuals.


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Demands on vision are much greater during elementary and teen years. Children lacking visual skills will often avoid certain activities such as reading, may seem slower or clumsier than their friends, have trouble staying on task, and are often uncomfortable or tired. The demands on eyesight for understanding the surrounding world are very high at this stage of life. Vision problems during these years can lead to learning delays and behavioral issues, making regular eye exams even more important.

With all of the amazing technology available to our youth, High Energy Visible Light is a concern. This form of light is found in all of our computers, phones, tablets, and televisions, and is harmful to the human eye. We have products that can block out the high energy visible light which is irritating and can cause poor eye health. These products will help prevent eye strain, and can help with  the prevention of macular degeneration later in life.

Nearsightedness and other vision problems are often discovered in this life phase. Any eye conditions that develop should be regularly monitored by an eye doctor.

Dr. Shearer and his staff can effectively assess your child and identify eye problems. Glasses or contacts can be custom selected for a self-conscious teen to avoid the trauma of needing to wear glasses.

Adult Vision

This category includes adults ages 19-40. During this period of life, it’s very important to incorporate and maintain the groundwork for supporting eye health and vision.

Healthy living is key, including habits such as:


Around age 40, changes in vision due to the aging process begin. Presbyopia, an age-related change in focusing ability of the eyes, occurs around this time. The risk for developing eye and vision problems increases, particularly if there are chronic health problems or medical conditions, other family members with eye disease, or one’s occupation is visually demanding.

Indicators of health or vision problems:

In addition to a yearly eye exam, any changes in vision should be brought to the attention of your eye doctor. Dr. Shearer and the Deerwood Family Eyecare staff can track your vision and help you spot and fix problems early.


Over the age of 60, poor eye health and vision problems can greatly affect lifestyle. At this stage, there are numerous vision disorders that can arise such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal detachment among others. Increased health problems and medications can also affect eyesight, making it very important to maintain a relationship with an eye care provider and schedule regular eye exams.

Make sure to discuss any trouble with driving, reading, or other activities during the appointment with your own eye care professional. As a senior, it may be increasingly difficult to see clearly, but there are many treatment options and lifestyle modifications that can be made to increase or maintain quality of life.

At Deerwood Family Eyecare, Dr. Shearer and his team can help you maximize your vision, your health, and your happiness.


We’re proud to serve all of Jacksonville including Southside, Deerwood, Nocatee, St. Johns and Mandarin since 1987.