5 Signs Your Kids Might Have Poor Vision

Children don’t always know they have poor vision. Understanding the signs can help you set them up for success. Watch for these five.

When kids have poor eyesight, they often just think that’s how the world looks to everyone. They don’t know any different. And if they do, they don’t always speak up about it. By age 5, every child should have a comprehensive eye exam and should continue to get one annually because everyone’s vision changes over time. Here are 5 ways to tell if you should schedule an appointment with the eye doctor in between these routine visits.

1. Difficulty learning

If your child is in a classroom, your teacher might notice signs of vision issues like falling behind in classwork, not participating in group discussion, or struggling at sports. But if your child is spending part or all of their time learning remotely, you may want to keep a closer eye on their learning progress to make sure you can notice these signs as well.

2. Regular headaches, fatigue, and general discomfort

Eye problems can lead to a cycle of overall discomfort. When children strain to see clearly, they can get frequent headaches. This pain leaves them frustrated, cranky, unable to concentrate, and exhausted.

3. Aversion to reading or similar activities

When a child has trouble focusing up close, they may get frustrated with reading and doing homework and avoid these activities altogether. But it’s not just about things that are up close. Vision problems could also be the cause if they are avoiding activities that require distance vision, like sports.

4. Speculation that your child might be hyperactive

Studies show that 60% of students labeled as problem learners actually have undetected vision problems. When children have trouble focusing it can be hard to switch from the board to their desk, making notetaking difficult. They may then tune out and fall behind, which can look like ADHD or something similar. They may also rush through their work, making careless mistakes, just to avoid blurry vision, double vision, headaches, or eye strain. It’s especially important to keep an eye out for these signs if your child is spending time at home learning remotely, outside of a classroom with their teacher.

5. Exhibits unusual behaviors

Sometimes kids with vision trouble blink excessively to clear their vision. This can make their eyes watery, causing them to rub them more. Squinting, head tilting, sitting too close to the TV, or closing one eye are also good signs that it’s time to get an eye test.

Do any of the above seem all too familiar to you? The signs a child may have a vision problem can be mistaken for something else, or may not be brought to your attention if they aren’t spending time in a classroom with a teacher, but a quick eye check-up can help get to the root of the problem. Many vision problems can be easily corrected if caught early and it’s the best way to make sure your child’s eyes are getting the care they need. Arrange your child's comprehensive eye exam* today.

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