As a parent, it can be difficult to tell what's going on with your kids sometimes, especially if they aren't up for sharing their struggles. Although there may be some things your child will experience that you can't identify without a little bit of give and take, vision problems don't have to be one of them. When you know what to watch for, you can identify the signs of vision trouble as early as possible. Here is a look at several of the key indications that your child is struggling to see clearly.
Sitting Too Close
If your child is having vision problems, he or she may start sitting closer to the television or hold books closer when reading. Although the recommended viewing distance for televisions can vary based on the size and type of the screen, if your child is sitting closer than usual or closer than you feel is necessary, it could indicate a vision problem.
Holding books closer than usual can also be a sign that your child is having difficulties seeing. The book should be approximately at arm's length for proper reading posture, so if he or she is leaning into the book or pulling it up closer, you might want to schedule an eye exam.
Following Text with a Finger
Although many children do this as early readers, if your child suddenly starts tracking text in books or on papers with a finger while reading, that could indicate visual tracking or clarity problems. Using a finger makes it easier for kids with visual tracking issues to follow text. A comprehensive vision assessment can help identify these types of problems.
Squinting or Covering an Eye
If your child is having trouble focusing or is struggling with blurry vision in one eye, you may notice that he or she starts squinting when looking at things or covers the weak eye when reading or watching television. This is a key indication of a vision problem, and it should be addressed right away. If your child persists in covering the weak eye and leaves the strong eye to do all of the focusing, it will strain the strong eye and may make vision problems worse.
When struggling with blurry vision, a common reaction is to rub your eyes. If you notice that your child is rubbing his or her eyes frequently, it may be a sign of vision trouble. It's also a common sign of allergies and some other minor conditions, so look for other indicators as mentioned above to help you spot trends in your child's vision.
It's important to catch your child's vision problems early, because that is the key to effective treatment and setting the stage for early childhood successes. If you see any of these warning signs in your child, it's in your best interest to reach out to an optician (like those at Premier Eye Care & Surgery) for a routine eye exam and glasses, if they are necessary.