How do you know if your child needs glasses? Vision issues can affect your child’s classroom performance and their visual development. It’s important to be on the lookout for signs that your son or daughter is experiencing vision problems. Here are four signs that Dr. Oker of Eden Prairie Eye Care recommends watching for. They might just indicate that your child needs glasses.
Children squint in an attempt to clear blurry vision. This behavior is a symptom of either nearsightedness or farsightedness, and causes more harm than good. The brain tells the eyes to squint in order to reduce the amount of light entering the cornea. This can momentarily help improve vision, but it can lead to headaches and double vision. If you see your child squinting, it could be a sign of a refractive error. Make an appointment with an optometrist to schedule an eye exam.
2. Strange Reading Habits
Reading out loud with your child is a great way to detect potential vision problems. Some strange reading habits are actually clues that your child needs glasses. These include:
Covering one eye to read: When a child covers one eye to read, they are trying to shut off the eye with the poorer vision. This could be a sign that your child is experiencing double vision or might even have a more serious condition such as cataracts that are affecting how well they see. Letting a vision problem in one eye go untreated increases the risk of amblyopia (also known as lazy eye) that can lead to irreversible vision loss.
Losing their spot: While this might also be a sign of dyslexia or attention deficit disorder, it is also a symptom of poor vision. Skipping lines or losing your spot while reading can be a sign of astigmatism or unequal prescriptions between eyes. Watch your child for these behaviors as they read.
Holding the book to close or too far away: This behavior is especially concerning in children who also sit too close to the TV. Children with myopia (nearsightedness) will bring the book closer to make the words bigger and clearer. The opposite of this (farsightedness) is called hyperopia. In this case your child will often hold the book farther away or squint in an attempt to make nearby objects less blurry.
If your child is struggling with reading while exhibiting these signs, make an appointment with your local eye doctor. An optometrist can determine if a vision problem is the root of the issue.
Headaches can be caused by stress, dehydration, or lack or sleep. They could also be a symptom of poor vision. Frontal headaches are often seen in children with uncorrected farsightedness. The extra effort exerted to bring blurry vision into focus can result in these brow aches and frontal headaches. Additionally, if your child is repeatedly complaining about headaches at the end of the day, they might be overexerting their eyes throughout the day. Either way, this is definitely an reason to schedule an eye exam.
4. Difficulty in School
Healthy vision is critical for your son or daughter’s academic success. Every year, children with vision problems are misdiagnosed with ADHD or ADD. This is because children with vision problems often show the same symptoms. When children cannot adapt their visual focus on objects such as computers, textbooks, or chalkboards, their minds will wander. Obviously this will impact their ability to concentrate on schoolwork. If your child is falling behind in school, schedule an eye exam first. Ruling out vision problems helps prevent a misdiagnosis of ADD or ADHD. It will could also prevent your child from being prescribed unnecessary medication. How An Optometrist Can Help
If your child is repeatedly and excessive showing one or more of these signs, they might require corrective vision. With an eye exam, your optometrist can check for:
Depth perception issues
Farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism
Strabismus (crossed eyes), or amblyopia (lazy eyes)
Visual clarity, sharpness, and visual acuity Even if your child already has glasses, it’s important to schedule annual eye exams. Eden Prairie Eye Care offers state of the art technology to determine your child’s optimal vision. To make an appointment, contact Dr. Oker at (952) 944-2792 or visit our website. Together, we can safeguard your child’s eye health and ensure their future success.