When monitoring your child’s health, an important factor to consider is whether or not your child could be developing eye and vision issues. While vision problems can present at any point during our lifetimes, it’s particularly important to monitor children’s eyes for signs of trouble. This is because children, particularly young children, may not be able to inform their parents about problems with their vision early enough to correct them. As a result, it’s up to parents and eye doctors to ensure that a child can see normally as they grow.
Children, School And Vision: A Match For Success
Though vision problems can range from temporary to permanent at any age, even slight vision problems can be extremely problematic for children. Due to their age, children are often unable to recognize when problems with their eyesight need to be mentioned to an adult. Many assume that everyone sees the world the same way that they do. This is one reason we rely on testing to tell us when a child is having problems with their vision.
Unfortunately, because most children spend so much of their time in school, even the mildest of vision issues can cause problems. Since as much as 80% of learning in school today is visually based, it’s clear that any vision issues could dramatically impact a child’s quality of life and their education. And this is simply assuming that the vision problems aren’t an indication of another health issue - in which case, additional treatment may be necessary to ensure a child lives as healthy and normal a life as possible.
Recognizing The Signs Of Vision Problems
There are specific symptoms and signs of vision problems that parents can watch for. Children who are having trouble seeing are likely to:
- Frequently rub their eyes, blink, or cover one eye in an effort to see more clearly
- Have trouble focusing on, or flat out avoid, activities such as reading
- Hold books and other materials close to their faces when interacting with them
- Lose their place when reading, as well as have trouble remembering what they were reading
- Tilt their heads to one side or another
- Suffer from frequent headaches, double vision
Children who are showing these behaviors should visit with an eye doctor as soon as possible to undergo vision testing. Only vision tests with an eye doctor will confirm whether or not they are having trouble seeing normally, and for what reason.
Vision Testing In Children
Even if your children do not show any obvious vision-related symptoms, it’s important to schedule regular eye examinations for them. Unless advised otherwise by a doctor, you should follow the general guidelines for eye exam frequency for children, which are broken down based on a child’s age. You should also schedule appointments even more frequently if your eye doctor recommends it, or if you child suffers from any specific problems or risk factors for eye problems, such as being born prematurely or suffering from a low birth rate. Regular visits with both a primary care doctor and an eye doctor can help you identify how frequently your child should undergo eye examinations.
Finally, it’s especially important that parents never skip an eye exam with an eye doctor based on your child’s ability to pass a school vision test. These basic tests cannot screen for issues that may be developing inside the eye. Only a trained ophthalmologist can test for more serious eye issues.
If your child is due for an eye exam, please schedule an appointment to bring them in! Our team will be able to thoroughly exam their eyes and ensure that their vision will not interfere with their education and after school activities.