Poor eyesight can cause children to lag behind in class or on the sports field, which may impact their self-esteem.
So how can parents tell when it’s time to take their child to an eye doctor? Here are some signs that your child’s eyesight may benefit from prescription eyeglasses.
1. They Squint a Lot
If your child sometimes squints their eyes when trying to focus on a distant object, they may have a condition called myopia, or nearsightedness. Squinting reduces the amount of light that enters the eye and helps to focus incoming light onto the center of the retina, resulting in sharper vision.
2. They Complain of Headaches
Children who have uncorrected farsightedness or astigmatism are very susceptible to headaches, especially after reading or doing near work. That’s because their eye muscles have to work very hard to focus on the words or objects in front of them.
3. They Frequently Rub Their Eyes
Eye rubbing can be a sign of tiredness or eye infection, but pay attention to when your child rubs their eyes. If they do so when trying to read or visually concentrate on something, they may have a vision problem. Many children don’t have the verbal skills to communicate a vision problem and may simply rub their eyes to try and eliminate the blurry vision they’re experiencing.
4. They Sit Too Close to the Board, TV or Digital Screen
Is your child holding up their book or phone too close to their face? Do they bring their seat right up to the TV screen? If so, their eyesight might be to blame. While nearsightedness is a fairly common problem, it is easily correctable with a pair of prescription glasses.
5. They Close One Eye
When a child closes one eye to focus on something, it may indicate an uncorrected refractive error or binocular vision problem. When the two eyes aren’t able to work in tandem, the child may unconsciously close one eye to enable the stronger eye to send a clear image to the brain.
6. They Seem Clumsy
Do they keep tripping or bumping into things because they are clumsy, or because they simply can’t see very well? The best way to tell is through a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist.
7. Reading Is a Challenge
Refractive errors and other vision problems can make it very difficult for a child to read. Children with uncorrected vision problems may often lose their place while reading, skip lines, use their fingers to point to each word or may avoid reading altogether. In fact, many children who have undiagnosed vision problems are mistakenly diagnosed with a learning disability. That’s why it’s important for children who are struggling in school to undergo a thorough eye exam with their optometrist.
We Provide Pediatric Eye Exams and More!
If any of the above signs apply to your child, it’s time for a thorough evaluation with an optometrist. At Southern Eyecare Associates, our friendly and knowledgeable staff use a very gentle and welcoming approach with young patients to help every child feel safe and comfortable throughout the process.
Whether your child needs glasses, contact lenses or other eyewear, we can help them find their perfect fit.
And remember, basic vision screenings offered by schools or pediatricians do not replace the care and expertise of an optometrist.
To schedule your child’s appointment and learn more about the services we offer, call Southern Eyecare Associates in Norfolk today!
- A: According to the American Optometric Association, children should have their eyes evaluated by an optometrist at ages 6 months, 3 years, before entering first grade and every school year after that. Some children may need more frequent optometrist visits, depending on their risk factors or other conditions.
- A: The most common vision problems found in children are refractive errors (farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism), lazy eye, crossed eyes and color deficiency. A thorough visual evaluation will help rule out any of these conditions in your child.
Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Southern Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.