03 Jul How To Know If Your Child Needs Glasses
A child’s changes in vision may be hard to detect and impede on your child’s experiences at school, at home, and during extracurriculars. Every child deserves their best chance at optimal eye health, but unfortunately, it is already difficult enough for a child to point out their own vision problems. Many children may not even recognize their changes as a problem, making it even more important to know the warning signs so that you can give your child proper vision care.
My son recently started wearing glasses, so I decided to come up with a handy list of warning signs to look out for before vision problems worsen over time.
Detecting Your Child’s Vision Problems: Communication is Key
As a parent, it’s on you to lead the communication, especially as children have a hard time being aware of or discussing poor eyesight or other eye problems. From one parent to another, here are my best tips for recognizing your child’s need for glasses:
Does your child frequently squint to see close-up objects (farsightedness) or far-away objects (nearsightedness)? As we all know, squinting is something we will often do during an eye exam to try to pass it the best we can, or to read a far-away sign. It’s a way to compensate for the reduced clarity in vision, so if your child is doing it too, chances are he or she needs a pair of glasses.
2) Eye Fatigue
If your child is affected by eye fatigue, you’ll probably notice some eye-rubbing and complaints. But when there may be no complaints, eye rubbing is a sure sign of eye fatigue. Just like we’ll ask our children about how they generally feel in health, it’s important to regularly ask your child how their eyes are feeling too.
3) Struggling to Read
Is your child struggling to read the board at school? Or even close-up while reading? This is where communicating with your child’s teacher would be most optimal – ask your child’s teacher if he or she is following along during lessons with the best ability possible. If your child shows any stress with school work or their grades are starting to be affected, changes in vision may be the culprit.
4) Blurry Vision
Ask your child if he or she has difficulty making out people from afar, or seeing people clearly on TV. This goes hand-in-hand with squinting, and is one of the most common signs. If your child sits really close to the TV on a usual basis, you can assume their vision will be blurrier, one of the major culprits behind nearsightedness.
5) Difficulty Seeing in Low-Light Situations
If children have a hard time adjusting to sudden changes in light, then their vision is surely affected. While this is a less common issue in children than older adults, it can be one of the most prominent signs of visual changes. This could also point to other issues like exotropia, a higher sensitivity to bright light.
6) Frequent Headaches
Finally, headaches are probably one of the worst warning signs as it can really affect your child’s mood, energy, and performance in their daily life. This is one of the most important signs of vision loss, as glasses can eradicate these headaches altogether if they are related to changes in vision.
When to Visit the Eye Doctor with Your Child
If you’ve noticed even just one of these symptoms, the best first step is to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor, and might as well bring the whole family along for a check-up they all need.
Make sure you communicate with your child before the visit and ask them thoroughly about any difficulties they are facing with their vision. This will help your doctor diagnose the issue seamlessly and recommend the best possible solution for glasses, eye drops, or even corrective surgery if possible.
Let your child get excited about the visit too – let them know how glasses can make a lovely fashion statement, and are a lot cooler now with so many styles to choose from. Even better, talk about how much you love your own glasses if you have them.
The more comfortable your child feels in approaching their vision problems, the better your eye doctor visit will be for both you and your child. Be sure to schedule your optometry appointment today!