As a parent, it’s often difficult to tell whether your child needs glasses or not. Although many of the school districts conduct annual eye exams, the usual problem with annual screenings is that some of your child’s vision problems may go undetected. That’s why parents need to practice enough diligence to decide if and when their boy or girl needs to see the optometrist.
Keep in mind that many eye diseases occur at early stages of a child’s development wherein your child may develop a number of different eye diseases, including strabismus (eye muscle imbalance), nearsightedness, amblyopia (lazy eye), or excessive tearing.
If you feel that your child may have any of these types of vision problems, be sure to contact your eye doctor immediately. As a parent, you should know how important it is to ensure that your child has excellent vision throughout his or her lifetime.
The problem is, however, that children don’t really know when they may have a vision problem. A young student may come home saying that he can’t see the blackboard in his math class, indicating a vision problem. But in most cases, children don’t realize they may have a problem with their vision, and as a result, parents need to look for certain signs or clues.
What Clues Should You Look For?
Fortunately, there are certain signs that indicate your child may have vision problems, and the following is a list of those tell-tale signs.
Squinting—Much like peeping through a small hole, a child will often squint in order to reduce the image on the back of his or her retina, which can also be a sign of poor vision.
Sitting too close to the TV—When your kids sit too close to the television, it is often a sign of nearsightedness.
Tilting the head—Tilting of the head can be a sign of strabismus (or eye imbalance), as children often tilt their head in order to compensate for double vision.
Losing their place while reading—If your child skips lines or loses his place while reading a book, there’s a chance that he or she has astigmatism or an eye muscle problem such as strabismus.
Covering one eye while reading—Children will often try to cover up the one eye with poorer vision, indicating that he or she may be at risk for amblyopia (or lazy eye).
Excessive tearing—Children often develop a condition called lag opthamalus where their eyes become dry at night when they don’t close them completely while sleeping. During the day, this can cause excessive tearing, and can interfere with normal vision.
If your child has any of these problems, the good news is that most of them can be controlled through corrective lenses, contact lenses, eye drops, and medication. And, as with any other medical problem, early detection and prevention are always key factors in maintaining healthy eyes.