Sometimes, kids can have difficulty communicating that something is amiss—if they even notice a concern in the first place. This is especially true of certain health concerns, particularly vision problems.
While vision problems may not be life-threatening or as time-sensitive as more pressing health issues, they can still impact your child’s life in profound ways. From negatively affecting their performance at school to holding them back in daily life, it is easy to mistake or overlook the symptoms of vision problems.
Thankfully, identifying and addressing vision problems can almost instantly correct these related issues and improve your child’s quality of life. Additionally, the majority of schools have vision screening in place, helping most children with vision problems catch the condition early.
However, vision problems in some children still go undetected. As such, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the most common warning signs that may indicate that your child needs glasses.
One of the telltale signs that your child might be struggling with their vision is frequent squinting. This is something we all do from time to time in an attempt to clarify our vision, whether it is due to our own vision problems or challenging visual environments. There are actually scientific reasons as to why, too.
So, some squinting is entirely normal and shouldn’t be an immediate red flag. Consistent squinting, on the other hand, is often a sign of vision problems in children, as they are frequently attempting to compensate. If you notice this particular sign your child may need glasses, consider taking them to an eye doctor for an exam.
Headaches and migraines are frequently linked to vision problems. If your child often complains of eye pain or headaches, there is a strong possibility that they are dealing with a vision problem that is contributing to these symptoms.
Proximity to Screens
Being too close to screens, whether they are fixed (like a TV) or handheld can be indicative of vision problems. Reducing the distance between their eyes and the screen can be a sign of near-sightedness, in particular. In other words, their vision becomes worse at farther distances, and this is their way of fixing that problem.
Covering One Eye
If you notice your child covering or closing one of their eyes, they may be trying to improve their vision by blocking their problematic eye. This is a sure sign that a more thorough eye examination is needed, as there may be more serious underlying eye problems.
If your child has an eye imbalance, including misalignment or an eyelid droop, they may tilt their head to compensate. If you notice your child frequently tilting their head, they are likely trying to see past their eyelid, properly align an object in their field of vision, or correct double vision.
Watch for this sign that they may need glasses!
Children who experience eye fatigue or strain may rub their eyes frequently, indicating an eye condition or allergy. While some eye rubbing is normal, especially when they’re sleepy (yep, kids can be pretty cute), frequent and excessive eye rubbing may be a sign that they need corrective glasses.
If you spot any of these signs that your child may need glasses or notice others that are not on this list, be sure to contact your eye doctor and have your child screened for vision problems. Doing so can catch issues early and vastly improve their quality of life, both immediately and far into the future.