Many people think adults are the only ones who have to worry about their visual health. In reality, lots of children have visual problems that may go unnoticed by their parents or teachers. According to Prevent Blindness America, there are many signs that a child is having difficulty seeing, and adults should be on the lookout for both visual and auditory clues that indicate a problem. For instance, many children with visual issues have noticeably red, swollen or crossed eyes. Other signals include a child’s tendency to rub her eyes frequently, squint, tilt her head, complain that words are blurry, or hold books close to her face when reading. Some children may also close one eye or lean their head forward in an attempt to see something more clearly. PBA suggests that older children may verbally express their visual discomfort, using such phrases as:
- “My eyes are itchy.”
- “Everything seems blurry.”
- “I have a headache” or “I feel dizzy” – particularly after reading a book or doing homework.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your own child, talk to an eye doctor on your vision plan as soon as possible. He or she can perform a complete visual examination and determine the extent of your child’s eye-care needs. In many cases, children who begin wearing glasses to improve their vision end up with better grades and a more focused interest in school. It’s a win-win situation!