You want the best for your child, which is why it’s so important that you recognize how to tell if your child needs glasses. Poor eyesight can affect just about every aspect of your child’s life: their education, their relationships, their hobbies, their future visual health, and much more. Don’t assume that your child’s visual screening at school will detect all problems related to vision and eye health. Instead, schedule a vision screening for your child periodically and keep an eye out for symptoms of poor eyesight.
How to Tell If Your Child Needs Glasses
Vision changes can occur without your child noticing. Although most children go through a visual screening at school, many of these screenings only test for distance visual acuity. Even if your child has 20/20 vision, he or she may still have some sort of vision or eye problem. So each year, your child should get a comprehensive eye exam regardless of whether or not he or she passed a school vision screening.
In addition, keep an eye out for concerning symptoms like the following:
Symptoms of Poor Eyesight in Children
Squinting may be a sign of a refractive error, such as hyperopia (farsightedness) or myopia (nearsightedness). Because it reduces the size of whatever your child is looking at, it can partially compensate for their inability to see clearly by temporarily improving their focus.
Frequent Headaches or Eye Rubbing
If your child is overexerting their eyes in an effort to increase their focus, they may suffer from eyestrain or eye fatigue, which can lead to headaches and eye rubbing. Frequent eye rubbing may also be a result of allergies, dry eyes, or another eye condition.
Covering/Closing One Eye or Tilting Head
If your child feels the need to cover/close one eye or tilt their head when focusing on something, they may suffer from astigmatism, eye misalignment, amblyopia (commonly known as lazy eye), convergence insufficiency, or some other vision disorder.
Struggling to Read
Learning to read is a struggle for nearly all children, but if your child suffers from farsightedness, nearsightedness, or some other vision issue, the goal may feel nearly impossible. If your child frequently loses their place on the page, holds the book very close, or always uses a finger to guide their eyes while reading, they may struggle to see clearly.
Failure to Reach Their Potential at School
If your child is having trouble reading or can’t easily see the whiteboard in class, you may notice that their grades are suffering. Don’t automatically assume that they’re not paying attention in class; a dip in academic performance or difficulty concentrating may be due to poor eyesight. In the classroom, children are required to frequently adapt their visual focus from near to far (and back again), which can quickly reveal issues with eyesight.
Toddlers often bump into things as they’re learning to walk, but sometimes a child’s clumsiness is due to poor eyesight. After all, if a child can’t clearly see their surroundings, it can be hard for them to avoid obstacles.
Sitting Too Close to the TV
Does your child always sit right in front of the TV? Do they hold phones, tablets, and books very close to their eyes? Do they insist on a desk at the front of the classroom? They may suffer from nearsightedness.
Now that you know how to tell if your child needs glasses, keep an eye out for these symptoms. Sometimes you may not notice them – and that’s okay! This is why it’s so important that you schedule an eye exam for your child at least once every two years, or more frequently if your optometrist recommends it due to specific problems or risk factors. Remember that the earlier a vision problem is detected, the sooner we can find a treatment for it.
Are you looking for a new optometrist for your family? If you live near southwest Missouri, stop by Heffington’s. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an e-mail to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location).