Your child’s optical health is the most important factor for them to succeed in school. Good eyesight enables them to perform their daily visual tasks in school, such as writing, reading, using a computer, and everything.
About 80% of instructions and activities taught in school expect visual understanding from the children. This only means that if your child has a vision problem, it could have an undesired knock-on effect on his/her development.
To prevent that from happening, our pediatric eye doctor has listed 8 common signs of children’s vision problems.
Your child always sits unusually close to the TV or holds reading materials too close to their face.
It’s clearly a myth that sitting close to the television damages your eyes. But this pattern shows that your child is experiencing a vision problem. Is your child struggling to clearly see televised images from a normal distance or keeps on leaning close to the reading materials? It could possibly mean that he/she is nearsighted.
Frequent eye rubbing
It’s normal when your child rubs their eyes when they’re tired or upset. But if your child does this frequently when focusing or trying to do some activities, it could mean that your child has an eyesight problem.
Losing track when reading or using fingers to guide their eyes through the text
When your children often lose track while reading or they make use of their fingers to follow words, there’s a huge possibility that there is something wrong with their vision. If this carries on for a long time, it’s time to see a ophthalmologist in Livingston to have their eyes properly checked.
Sensitivity to light or abnormal tearing
If you notice that your child is becoming more sensitive to indoor lighting, sunshine, or camera flashes, it is an indication that your child is experiencing an eye condition, such as photophobia.
Covering one eye to be able to read or watch things
Closing or covering one eye to do activities like reading or watching television could be a sign of a teaming eye problem called convergence insufficiency.
Complaints of headaches, eye pain, or discomfort
Children with undiagnosed eye issues often overexert themselves in performing tasks that utilize their sight, such as doing school work. They may do this on a daily basis, that’s why children tend to experience eye strain, which then leads to headaches. Other symptoms may include eye pain, discomfort, blurry vision, and reddish or irritated eyes.
Short attention span
By nature, children tend to have a shorter attention span, which only lasts for minutes, depending on their age. However, if attention problems become a consistent issue, then that may be the effect of an underlying medical condition, such as a vision problem.
Children with vision problems may seem to lack attentiveness and focus, especially during class. But in reality, they actually lack the right visual skills needed to keep up with academic demands due to their eye problem.
Additionally, a child may also exert more energy into maintaining eye focus instead of balancing it out with cognitive thinking skills.
Poor hand-eye coordination
Hand-eye coordination is one’s ability to utilize visual information to direct the hands to respond quickly to that specific visual stimuli. This usually develops during childhood as one regularly engages in activities such as writing, drawing, playing sports, and exercising.
So, poor hand-eye coordination tends to develop in children with eye conditions or deficiency in visual-motor coordination. This can manifest in children as clumsiness or poor balance.
Ophthalmologist advises parents to keep an eye out for these signs because eye conditions have the best chances of being cured when detected at an early stage.
Also, remember to visit your child’s ophthalmologist for an eye examination every 6 months. Or more often if needed.
Why are regular eye examinations important?
Eye health is as important as any other system in the body. It is crucial to look after your eyes, especially during the developmental stage of childhood. Additionally, a child’s vision一specifically school-age children of 6-8 years old一can change unexpectedly. They may gradually develop a preventable visual impairment that only an eye exam can catch.
What’s worse is that pediatric eye conditions not only result in visual impairment. They can also disrupt child development and learning and may give rise to behavioral issues.
Most schools provide vision screening. However, that does not equate to an eye exam. Eye examinations are more comprehensive and performed only by an ophthalmologist. Some of the tests that your child may encounter during an eye exam include:
- Preliminary tests to assess color vision, depth perception, eye muscle movements, and others.
- Visual acuity
- Evaluation of optical prescription
- Eye focusing
- Digital retinal imaging
- Eye pressure test
Undergoing a comprehensive eye exam allows eye doctors to detect eye conditions early on, especially diseases that do not typically have any warning signs. Once diagnosed, doctors can then recommend a treatment plan that can correct their vision, thus significantly improving a child’s ocular health and quality of life.
How often should a child get an eye exam?
According to the American Optometric Association, a child should get their first comprehensive eye exam as early as 6 months. They must also follow up on that during the child’s 2nd or 3rd year of age.
School-age children (5 or 6) should undergo eye examinations every two years, provided that they don’t have any suspected vision problems. However, for children with vision issues (e.g., wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses), a yearly eye exam is a must or as often as their ophthalmologist recommends.
Getting an eye exam as early as infancy is crucial for children at risk or more vulnerable to vision problems. This includes the following:
- Children with a diagnosed learning disability, behavioral issue, neuropsychological condition, and developmental delay.
- Children diagnosed with Down syndrome, prematurity, and neurofibromatosis.
- Children with a family history of genetic eye problems, such as congenital glaucoma, lazy eye, refractive errors, strabismus, and retinoblastoma.
Visit the best pediatric ophthalmologist in NJ at Pediatric Eye Associates
Vision problems, no matter how minor, are not something to be taken lightly. Many eye conditions resulting in vision loss and ocular damage usually begin with little to no warning signs. To protect your child’s eye health, it is vital to get them screened and evaluated by the best pediatric eye doctor.
Pediatric Eye Associates provides comprehensive and high-quality ocular-related exams and treatment services. Our team of board-certified ophthalmologists specializes in treating and managing various pediatric eye conditions through advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment.
Contact us now to learn more!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.