Adults know when they are beginning to experience trouble with their vision. In such instances, men and women will book appointments with their eye doctors to determine what’s causing their problems. But whether it’s a fear or eyeglasses or simply feeling their symptoms are normal, kids might be hesitant to tell their parents about any vision problems they’re having. As a result, parents must learn to recognize certain warning signs that indicate their children are experiencing vision problems.
Vision problems in youngsters can be especially problematic, as many of the lessons kids learn in school still begin on a chalkboard. The following are some potential indicators that kids might be dealing with vision problems that require medical attention.
• Reading habits: Vision problems may be most noticeable when kids are reading. As youngsters learn to read, they might use their fingers to keep their place while they figure out the pronunciation of certain words. But kids eventually grow out of that habit. Kids who are still doing so long after they have learned to read may be having trouble seeing words on the page. In addition, kids who pull their reading materials very close to their eyes may be struggling to see the words.
• Viewing habits: Peculiar viewing habits may also be indicative of poor vision. Kids who sit too close to the television may be struggling to see what’s on as opposed to just being overexcited to see their favorite shows. Kids who prefer to watch programs on tablets they can hold as opposed to televisions may also make that choice because it’s easier for them to see on their tablets than on the television. In such instances, ask why they prefer tablets to television. When kids watch TV, ask them to move further away from the television. If they complain moving back makes it hard to see, book an appointment with an eye doctor.
• Eye rubbing: Many kids, and even adults, rub their eyes when they are feeling fatigued. But kids who seem to rub their eyes frequently and at times of the day when they should not be tired may be experiencing vision troubles and feeling frustrated that they cannot see very well.
• Eye activity: Some kids begin to close one eye when reading, watching television or attempting to read signs. That may be indicative of a refractive vision disorder, in which the eye struggles to focus, or refract, light correctly on the retina. Such problems can often be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses, but some refractive disorders may require surgery.
• Squinting: Kids who squint a lot may be finding it difficult to focus on words on a chalkboard or even television programs. Squinting may also be brought on by a corneal abrasion. Parents who notice their youngsters are squinting should consult the child’s eye doctor to determine the cause of the problem.
Vision problems can be especially harmful to children, who rely on their vision to perform their schoolwork. Parents who learn to recognize the various warning signs of vision troubles can nip problems in the bud before they have too great an impact on youngsters.