As an adult, you might recognize when your eyesight starts to deteriorate. A child, though, doesn’t always know what things should look like, and he may not realize that there’s anything wrong with his vision. It’s smart to take your child to an ophthalmologist for an exam at least once a year, but these signs might indicate there’s a problem.
Squinting and Other Corrections
Children who need glasses may exhibit some strange behaviors when it comes to seeing things. For example, you might notice your child squinting, moving a book closer to or farther away from the face, tilting his head when trying to focus on something he’s looking at or covering one eye. All of these could indicate that there’s something troubling about his vision. Mention these concerns to both the pediatrician and the ophthalmologist.
An occasional headache is definitely normal, but children shouldn’t be getting frequent headaches. If your child complains that his/her head hurts on a daily basis, especially if it immediately follows an activity where she’s had to use her eyes, there could be a problem. Reading, playing video games, doing homework and watching TV are all activities that could strain her eyes. Ruling out vision problems might just mean that you need to focus on reducing these activities to reduce the strain.
Trouble Seeing Far Away
Some children have no problems when it comes to seeing up close, such as when they’re reading. Items in the distance can be blurry, though, and the problem can go undiagnosed. Check this out by asking your child to look at things from the car window. For example, you might ask, “How many horses can you see in that field?” and see if he’s able to answer the question. If not, it’s time to mention this to the eye doctor.
Problems at School
Children who have vision problems may not be able to see the board at school, and can have trouble with written work and learning to read. If you feel that your child’s school work doesn’t seem to accurately reflect her potential, consider having her eyes examined. Even if you’re able to rule out vision problems as the cause of her poor performance, it will at least give you a place to start in getting down to the heart of the problem with additional testing.
Some children are naturally more coordinated than others, but if you find that your child is frequently bumping into things or has difficulty doing things like kicking or catching a ball when that’s no longer developmentally appropriate, get his eyes checked. While glasses are by no means a guaranteed solution, they can help if they’re warranted. If not, you’ll at least know that it’s not vision problems contributing to his clumsiness.Exhibiting some or all of these signs could mean that your child needs glasses, but it’s also possible for your child to still need glasses even if she doesn’t show any signs. Children are very good at compensating for difficulties, especially if they’re not aware that the difficulties are there. It’s also possible for a child who’s always had perfect vision to develop problems in adolescence. In order to be sure, a smart parent will take their child to a qualified ophthalmologist for regular eye exams.