As the new school year approaches, we're all getting ready to equip our children for their academic journey. While we remember to get books and outfits, there's a vital element we shouldn't overlook: their eyesight.
Seeing clearly is just the start. Good vision means understanding and processing what we see. It's essential for learning, play, and social connections. Did you know that nearly 80% of a child's learning is visual?
So, if your child had vision challenges, would you recognize the signs? Many kids' vision issues fly under the radar, causing unnecessary challenges in their studies and daily life. That's why we created this guide – to give you, the parents, the tools to spot potential vision concerns early on. In this post, we'll outline the main indicators of children's vision problems. By being informed and attentive, you're paving the way for not only their eye health but also their success this academic year. Let's get started!
Frequent Eye Rubbing
Every parent has seen their child rub their eyes when waking up or feeling sleepy. That's completely normal. However, if your child often rubs their eyes during the day, it might be a sign of something else.
Rubbing eyes a lot could mean your child's eyes are uncomfortable or they might be seeing things blurry. This could be due to dry eyes, allergies, or an eye infection like pink eye. Moreover, if they're rubbing their eyes to see better, it might be an indication of vision issues such as being nearsighted, farsighted, or having an irregular eye shape.
So, if your child is frequently rubbing their eyes, especially if their eyes look red, watery, are sensitive to light, or they mention things look blurry, it's a good idea to get their eyes checked. Catching and treating eye issues early on can really help your child in the long run.
Habitually Placing Objects Too Close:
We've often heard, "Don't sit too close to the TV or you'll harm your eyes!" While it's not completely accurate, if your child always sits close to the TV or brings books really close to read, it might indicate a vision issue like nearsightedness. Being nearsighted means distant things look blurry, but close-up things are clear. So, if your child is always leaning in to see the TV or school board, they might be having trouble seeing things from afar.
You might especially notice this when they're watching something from a distance, like a movie or trying to read from the school board. If this is the case, it's a good idea to get their eyes checked. Catching and treating nearsightedness early helps your child in school and daily life. Plus, it avoids eye strain which can lead to other problems. So, if they're always inching closer to screens or books, it might not just be a habit; their vision could be the reason.
Squinting or Tilting the Head
Ever seen your child squint while reading or watching TV? Or maybe tilt their head a certain way to look at something? While these might seem like cute quirks, they could actually hint at vision problems. Squinting is a way our eyes try to make blurry things clear. If your child does it a lot, especially for faraway objects, they might have nearsightedness.
On the other hand, if they tilt their head often, they might be trying to align their eyes correctly. This can be related to a condition called strabismus, where the eyes don't line up right. These habits aren't just quirky; they can cause tired eyes and headaches. And more than that, they might mean your child has vision issues which can affect their learning. So, if your child often squints or tilts their head, it's wise to get their eyes checked.
If your child often has headaches, especially after reading, homework, or screen time, it might be linked to their eyes. Just like muscles get tired after exercise, eyes can get tired too, especially if they're working harder than they should be because of vision problems.
Eye strain happens when eyes are overworked. For instance, if your child can't see clearly, their eyes have to try extra hard to focus, causing tired eyes and headaches. These headaches often feel like a dull or throbbing pain around the eyes or front of the head.
If your kid mentions blurry vision, squints a lot, or rubs their eyes often alongside these headaches, it's a good hint that their eyes might need a check-up. By getting their eyes tested, you can catch any issues early and help them feel and study better.
Covering an Eye:
If your child often covers one eye while doing things like reading or watching TV, it might not just be play. It could point to a vision problem like "lazy eye" (amblyopia) or "crossed eyes" (strabismus). "Lazy eye" happens when one eye doesn't see as well as the other during early years, making the child use one eye more. This can be because one eye is clearer than the other or if the eyes aren’t straight, which is called strabismus. By covering one eye, your child might be trying to see better if the other eye is blurry or seeing double.
Strabismus means the eyes don't line up right. One eye might look straight while the other turns in a different direction. This can make things look double, so a child might cover one eye to see clearly. These issues can affect how well a child judges distance, moves, and learns. But there's good news: both conditions can be helped, especially if caught early. If you see your child covering an eye often, get their eyes checked. With the right care, they can see better and more comfortably.
School involves a lot of reading, writing, and looking at the board. If your child struggles with these activities, it might be because of a vision problem like being nearsighted, farsighted, or having astigmatism. Signs to watch for include your child losing their spot while reading, having difficulty copying from the board, or struggling with detailed tasks. If they often say things look blurry or have trouble with schoolwork, pay attention.
Kids might not always say they can't see well. So, keep an eye out for any signs and listen if they mention any difficulties. If you think your child might have a vision problem, get their eyes checked. With the right glasses or contacts, they can see better and do better in school and life.
Throughout this guide, we've highlighted various hints that your child might have vision issues. From squinting to trouble at school, these hints can easily be overlooked. Yet, catching and treating vision issues early can greatly benefit your child in school and social settings.
Good vision isn't just about clear sight. It's about understanding the world. As parents, our job is to ensure our kids see the world as best they can. By keeping an eye out for these signs, we can set them up for success.
As a new school year starts, let's prioritize our kids' eye health. If any of the signs mentioned seem familiar, or if your child hasn't had an eye check-up recently, it's a good time for an appointment. Our skilled team at Newnan Family Eyecare is dedicated to your child's eye health, helping them excel in school and life. Every child should have the best possible vision to explore and learn. Let's ensure their eyes are ready for the year ahead. Reach out to Newnan Family Eyecare to book your child's eye check-up.