Signs your child needs an eye exam
Children’s eyesight and their visual skills develop with age. Nevertheless, not every child ends up with perfect vision. In fact, many kids today experience issues with their eyes that make even the simplest tasks more difficult than they need to be. Unfortunately, children often do not even realize that their vision could be better and that it would make their day to day life much easier. It will even help keep them safe and enable them to fulfil their academic potential.
So, how do you know if your child needs an eye exam? Here are some of the top warning signs that may indicate that your child is experiencing vision problems and would benefit from seeing your eye doctor.
Does your child look at objects through half closed eyes? Squinting is a natural, instinctive response to many visually stressful situations, such as not being able to see clearly, and we do it in order to try and focus on the object that we are looking at. Squinting can momentarily bring an otherwise blurred object into focus. If your child is doing it regularly, it could be that they have a refractive eye error like near-sightedness (myopia) or hyperopia (farsightedness). These occur when there is a problem when the way that light passes through the eyes and can usually be corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses.
Rubbing their eyes
Everyone rubs their eyes when they are tired, but excessive eye rubbing can be a sign that your child is suffering from a problem that is affecting their eyes, and potentially, their vision. Allergies and conditions such as dry eye are common triggers of eye rubbing, which could also see you transferring bacteria to the eyes and increase the risk of infection.
Tilting their head or covering one eye
Have you noticed your child tilting their head to one side when they are reading or focusing in on something? They may even cover one eye. Both are signs of eye misalignment issues, which occur when the eyes don’t work together in perfect synchronicity. They can also indicate a condition called amblyopia, better known as a lazy eye, which occurs when one eye doesn’t work as well as the other due to the brain failing to process inputs effectively. Over time, their brain will automatically favor their other eye.
Headaches and/or eye pain
Persistent headaches are a classic sign of eye problems, while eye strain can also cause physical pain. Either of these issues warrants your child attending an eye exam to rule out vision problems as the underlying cause.
Holding books or screens close to their face
Myopia is the most common eye condition in the world and is characterized by being able to see objects close to the face clearly, but those that appear further away appear blurred. If you notice your child holding objects closer to their face or moving in so that they are closer to the tv screen, they could be developing myopia.
Children need to learn to maintain their concentration, particularly in the classroom environment when they will be adapting their visual focus between different distances and objects – such as their books, a board and their teacher. If they lack the necessary visual skills, it may be difficult or impossible for any task to hold their attention. In fact, many children are even misdiagnosed with behavioral disorders like ADD when really, poor visual skills are to blame.
If you are concerned about your child’s vision, do not hesitate to make an appointment us at Advanced Vision Institute by calling our eyecare team at (702)-819-9800.