Does my child need glasses?
As a parent, it’s not always easy to tell what is wrong with your child. A fever can be measured, a rash can be seen, but poor vision isn’t as easy to notice. Your child might act completely normal, but there are small signs and slight hints suggesting your child might need glasses. As adults age, their vision often suffers, but kids may not be aware their vision is less than perfect, so even asking them may not yield any useful clues.
All kids should be getting regular eye exams. Studies have shown children learn visually during their early developmental years, and it is believed that up to 80 percent of what children learn they take in visually. Understanding that eye conditions aren’t always easy to recognize is exactly why getting regular eye exams is important. If you’ve asked yourself, “Does my child need glasses?” then you’ve already taken the first step.
Signs Your Child May Need Glasses
Don't assume all is well because your kid is enjoying success socially and in school. Look for little hints and you may find there are signs your child needs glasses. There may not be any obvious signs at first. But there are some subtle clues that all may not be right with your child’s vision.
Watch your child when he or she is reading, watching television, or using the computer. Over time, you might notice overlooked patterns that signal your child has an undetected vision problem.
Reasons to Have Your Child’s Vision Checked
- Squinting may be a sign that your child has a refractive error that affects how well the eyes focus on an image. Refractive errors include conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. By squinting, your child may be able to temporarily improve the focus and clarity of an object.
- A note from a teacher saying your child is struggling to focus in class, or noticing a slip in his or her grades, could also potentially be signs your child needs glasses. Many schools give annual vision tests, but they almost always focus only on distance vision. Your child might have no trouble seeing the whiteboard, but struggle with close-up vision impacting his or her ability to learn.
- Similarly, many kids are put in remedial reading classes when their reading skills test below average. But it might be that your child is having problems with his or her vision. According to a study released by the Vision Council of America, 70 percent of kids with reading difficulties may have some form of vision impairment. A child who routinely loses his or her place while reading, seems to have problems staying attentive while reading, or must use his or her finger to follow along, may actually need to visit the eye doctor: any of these could be a sign that your child needs glasses.
- Some children who need glasses have one of several eye disorders that can cause a child to change the angle at which they view things to try to get a clearer image. Covering one eye or tilting the head for improved vision could indicate a condition known as amblyopia, more commonly known as lazy eye, one of the more common vision conditions found in children.
- If you find your child holding a book or tablet unreasonably close, or leaning in too close to a computer monitor or television, that could be a sign your child needs glasses.
- Eye-rubbing, while possibly related to allergies, an infection, or fatigue, could also point to a number of other problems and should be addressed with your child’s eye doctor for further evaluation.
- Headaches in the forehead area or behind the eyes could be related to eye strain caused by prolonged attempts to compensate for out-of-focus text either near or far.
You want the best for your child and work to ensure he or she has what is needed to succeed. Don’t take vision for granted. Get regular check-ups and if you notice anything that seems to be amiss, address it with his or her pediatrician or eye doctor. Knowing whether your child needs glasses is easier than it seems when you know what to look for.
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