A Clearer View

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How to Tell if Your Child Needs Glasses

by Damion Wasylow 3 December 2017 03:52 AM

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Children aren’t likely to tell you if they’re experiencing vision problems. If they’ve dealt with these issues their whole lives, they may not even realize their vision is abnormal. That makes it imperative for you to watch out for the warning signs of potential vision challenges, and include regular eye exams as part of your child’s medical routine. 

Here are five warning signs that should lead you to take your child to a local eye care practice for a comprehensive eye exam…

Covering One Eye or Tilting the Head

Covering one eye is likely your child’s way of trying to eliminate the blurred vision of one eye from impacting the other eye. It could also be an attempt to adjust for misalignment of the eyes. Likewise, tilting the head may be done to change the angle of vision in order to compensate for eye alignment issues such as amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, which impacts 2-3% of children.

Squinting

Squinting is a subconscious attempt to improve visual focus. Your child may not even be aware they’re doing it. It’s often a sign of a refractive error such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, all of which result in blurred vision. Squinting may allow your child to temporarily improve focus, but it does more harm than good.

Sitting Too Close to the TV

Sitting too close to the TV or holding books or handheld devices close to the face could be an indication your child has difficulty seeing clearly when things are farther away. This could be the result of myopia (nearsightedness). Roughly 30% of Americans are affected by myopia. 

Trouble Concentrating

Some parents misdiagnose vision problems as ADHD, as the symptoms can sometimes be similar. Children with vision challenges often have difficulty concentrating because they can’t see the necessary content in order to follow along. For children with vision problems, switching from textbook to chalkboard in the classroom can cause both frustration and physical discomfort. 

Recurring Headaches or Eye Pain

Headaches and eye pain can be triggered by any number of factors, including in some cases, vision problems. Frequent after-school headaches or headaches after reading could be an indication of asthenopia, commonly known as eye strain. This could be the result of an eye muscle imbalance or it could point to the need for glasses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.

Early diagnosis of vision problems is critical for improving your child’s overall quality of life, in the classroom and beyond. Even without symptoms, the Mayo Clinic recommends a comprehensive eye exam between the ages of three and five. If everything is clear, follow up with exams every one to two years throughout adolescence. 

To schedule your child’s comprehensive eye exam, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.

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