Identifying Vision Problems in Your Child

By Aaron Barriga

Did you know that 80% of what all children learn is purely visual?
This indicates that if your child happens to have an uncorrected vision problem, it could severely affect their learning and development and hinder their ability to perform optimally in school.

Poor eye health has become increasingly common in school-aged children. Problems with vision can make it seem like your child has a learning disability, when in fact they just need treatment to see clearly and comfortably.
The first signs of a vision problem is typically blurry vision.

Here are nine warning signs that your child may be experiencing poor eye health and blurry vision:

Sits too close to the TV or holds a book very close when reading. If your child is consistently sitting very close to the TV or holding a book too close when reading can indicate that your child may be nearsighted or have blurry vision.

Constant eye rubbing. A common sign of eye strain in a child is frequent and intense eye rubbing. Eye rubbing may be caused by muscle balance or inability to focus which causes the eyes to tire out quickly. (Although, constant rubbing of the eyes can also be caused by allergies.)

Using a finger to guide their eyes when reading. When children are learning to read initially it is common for them to use their finger to guide their eyes, but this practice is expected to disappear as they age. If they are constantly losing their place while reading and using their finger to help them hold their focus and guide their eyes, you may want to have their vision checked.

Light sensitive or excessive tearing. Have you noticed that your child begins to blink vigorously when indoors, in bright sunlight or in the presence of camera flashes? If so, this increased sensitivity usually comes in the form of photo-phobia and can also lead to blurry vision, nausea and headaches. (Can also be a symptom of different eye conditions.)

Closing one eye to see better. Constantly shutting one eye when reading or watching television could be an indicator of a refractive or binocular vision problem which affects the ability of the two eyes to work together in unison as a team. Closing a single eye to read or concentrate on other work may be a sign that your child suffers from a certain eye teaming problem which is also referred to as convergence insufficiency.

Avoiding computers or devices. Digital eye strain can cause a lot of pain amongst younger children who regularly use devices and computers. If your child suddenly begins to avoid using the computer, he may be experiencing digital eye strain which can literally cause pain and hurt his eyes.

Grades being lower than usual. If you notice a sudden drop in your child’s grades, she may be experiencing difficulty in reading what is being written and displayed on the board due to blurry vision. The chances of your child letting you know about this are very slim, so be sure to pick up on this as soon as you can and schedule an eye exam.

Squinting and tilting to see better. If your child begins to squint or tilt their heads during class to get a better view of the classroom board (which is something he did not do previously), this may be a sign. Please talk with your child’s teachers and ask them to inform you immediately if they notice these mannerisms in the classroom as well. (Until your child undergoes an eye exam, it is best that he sit closer to the front of the class for viewing purposes.)

Headaches and tired eyes. Blurry vision and regular headaches may be a sign of eye strain. Even though headaches may be less common, they can indicate certain issues which can cause pressure or swelling behind the eyes. If you happen to notice any of these signs in your child, then you should set them up for an examination immediately. (Make sure to opt for an eye doctor that specializes in treating children and knows how to make them feel at ease in his/her clinic.)

Bottom line, if you happen to notice any of these signs in your child, schedule an appointment with your optometrist/ophthalmologist. Your child may not be able to communicate a vision problem, but they will thank you for recognizing that they may be able to see more clearly with treatment.

Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs with a mission of informing readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care and eye health. He loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.

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