When children have vision problems, it can seriously affect their development. Learn the signs to watch out for to get your child glasses as soon as they need them.
Every parent wants their child to perform at their best, but sometimes undetected vision problems can interfere with a developmental success. In fact, glasses can often be a much easier (and less expensive) solution for maximizing a child’s success than some of the other common interventions like hiring a slew of tutors and enrolling children in after-school enrichment programs.
However, knowing when to get glasses for your child can be tough. After all, your child probably won’t tell you that they’re having vision problems, so it’s up to you as a parent to identify the signs and take action before your child’s visual, academic, and social development is affected.
Signs Your Child May Need Glasses
While the best way to determine if your child needs glasses is with a professional eye exam, there are some signs to watch out for that may indicate vision problems:
- Squinting: Squinting may suggest that your child has trouble focusing on objects either close-up (farsightedness) or far away (nearsightedness). Squinting reduces the object’s size, which can compensate for your child’s inability to see it clearly.
- Tilting their head: To increase sight clarity, children may attempt to change the angle at which they’re looking at objects.
- Covering one eye: This is another way to reduce blurriness, this time by covering one eye that is weaker than the other. Covering an eye can indicate an issue like amblyopia (sometimes called “lazy eye”) where the eyes are misaligned.
- Holding devices too close to their eyes: If your child sits too close to the TV or keeps hand-held devices too close to their eyes, it can hint at poor vision. For people with nearsightedness, bringing an image closer makes it bigger and clearer. If your child does this consistently, it could indicate myopia.
- Rubbing eyes excessively: Excessive eye rubbing could suggest that your child is experiencing a lot of eye strain or fatigue. It could also indicate that they have allergic conjunctivitis or dry eyes.
- Frequent headaches, eye pain, or nausea: If your child regularly complains about headaches, eye pain, or sometimes even nausea at the end of the day, it’s possible that they’re overexerting their eyes in an effort to make their world clearer.
- Struggling to read or complete school work: School demands that children often switch their focus from distant to near as they alternate between looking at white boards and computers to workbooks and tablets. If a child has vision problems, this can be challenging and their vision problems can manifest as a lack of focus on schoolwork. Additionally, if your child struggles to read — often losing their place, skipping lines, and using their fingers to keep their spot — it could be yet another sign that their vision is suffering.
Getting Your Child’s Vision Tested
If you see your child demonstrating any of these signs, it’s important that you take them to get their vision tested. A good place to start is with a regular pediatrician. At Kids’ Health, a leading pediatric clinic in Beverly, Massachusetts, our pediatricians can perform a cursory eye exam and then recommend an eye doctor in the area if they believe one is needed.
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