Your child’s vision develops in the first few years of life.With no other experience to compare to, a child doesn’t usually understand that their eyesight is bad, and therefore might not say anything. Fortunately, there are certain symptoms and signs to look out for that may indicate your child is having problems with their vision.
Here are the five most common things to look out for:
Squinting is one of the most common indicators that an eye exam is in order. The act of squinting makes it easier for your child to see and focus on what’s in front of them, and might mean their vision is blurry to begin with. If you notice your child start to squint or strain when he or she is watching TV, reading a book, or even looking at you or someone else, make an appointment with an optometrist.
Tilting Their Head
Diplopia, more commonly known as double vision, is a problem that can cause your child to see double images of everything. Additionally, the malpositioning of one eye leading to crossed eyes may also cause directional vision problems. These issues could cause your child to tilt their head in order to get a clearer picture of the world.
Getting Too Close to Objects
If your child sits too close to the television, leans in closely during homework, or inches forward when on a tablet or playing other games, he or she may be nearsighted. Nearsightedness is when a person can see things that are closer, but cannot see things that are far away as well. Observing your child often moving closer to objects may be a red flag to make an appointment with an optometrist.
While children sometimes rub their eyes when they are sleepy, frequent eye rubbing may be an indicator of something more serious. This behavior could be due to eye strain and fatigue from overcompensation for poor vision. Glasses may help reduce strain on the eye muscles and allow the eyes to focus properly.
Headaches can be a symptom for many things, but if they happen frequently to a young child they could signify vision problems. Headaches that hurt the most behind the eyes or near the forehead and eyebrows or temples could be caused by poor vision. The eyes and eye muscles strain when trying to correct blurry vision, and like any other muscle, overuse and strain results in pain.
Be sure to schedule an eye exam for your children every year, especially if they are showing any of these common indicators of possible vision problems.