If your child has an undiagnosed problem with their vision, this can make life more challenging for them. They may struggle with their schoolwork, with participating in sports, and in social situations where they need to be able to recognize their peers.
It’s important that you take your child for an eye test if you notice them exhibiting any of the following symptoms.
Squinting is a really common response to not being able to see properly, because it temporarily brings a fuzzy object into sharp focus. If you notice your child squinting, then it’s possible that they could benefit from wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Contact lenses are generally considered to be safe for children over 10 years of age, provided that they are hygienic and responsible enough to properly take care of them. This can be a benefit to children who play sports and would be encumbered by glasses, and as an added bonus, you can even get UV protection contact lenses, which will mean that your child’s eyes are protected from the sun while their vision is being corrected.
If your child rubs their eyes often, this is something that you’ll want to get checked out. It can be a sign of eye strain or fatigue, which often occurs when someone has an undiagnosed vision problem because their eyes are working harder than usual to correct it.
Eye strain can also occur as a result of using screens for too long without a break. It’s important that you follow the 20-20-20 rule and ask the same of your children when working on screens; every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This brief switch in focus gives your eyes the break that they need.
Sitting too close to the television
Despite what you may have been told as a child, sitting too close to the television won’t damage your vision, and it certainly won’t make your eyes go square!
However, sitting too close to the television can be a sign of nearsightedness. If you notice that your child often sits very close to the screen, it’s a good idea to get their eyes tested.
Headaches and eye pain
Eye pain and headaches are a common sign of eye strain, which as we said earlier can be a result of an undiagnosed vision issue.
If your child is getting a lot of headaches and eye pain it’s a good idea to take them to the doctor or the optometrist, and also ensure that they are taking regular screen breaks. It’s also important to ensure that they use adequate light when playing games, studying or reading as trying to see in dim light is another possible cause of eye strain.
Trouble concentrating at school
If your child can’t see what’s written on the board at school, or they are struggling to read a textbook where the letters are fuzzy, then it makes sense that this could impact their concentration.
Children often have to quickly shift their focus from objects that are up close to ones that are farther away when they are at school, and if they can’t do it they will quickly give up and start thinking about something else!
If you think your child is struggling to concentrate at school, it’s worth taking them for an eye test to rule out any underlying issue.