According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, over 25% of school age children have vision problems with studies showing a direct correlation between poor eye health and poor performance in class and in other areas of a child’s life. That’s why it’s important to take your child in for regularly scheduled eye exams and to always book an appointment if you think there may be an issue. With that in mind, here are five potential warning signs your child may have a vision problem.
For many children, squinting is a common sign of a potential vision problem. That’s because when you squint it reduces the size of a blurry image on the back of your retina, making it temporarily easier to see. Squinting not only means that your child may require vision correction, but could also be the symptom of a more serious condition.
2. Tilting the head
If you see your child tilting their head to one side, it may be the sign of an eye muscle imbalance known as strabismus. This imbalance causes double vision when your child looks in a certain direction. Titling the head to one side can minimize this double vision and may be a sign your child requires vision correction.
3. Covering one eye to read or watch TV
If you see your child covering one eye, it could be the sign of an uncorrected vision issue. That’s because covering an eye is simply an easy way for a child to “turn off” the eye that’s giving them problems. Covering one eye can also be a sign of double vision or even a more serious medical condition such as cataracts.
4. Light sensitivity
If your child tends to squint or feel uncomfortable when exposed to bright light, it could be the sign of exotropia, a type of eye muscle imbalance that results in squinting and light sensitivity. Be sure to speak to your optometrist immediately if you think your child might be overly sensitive to light.
5. Frequent headaches
Children with undiagnosed farsightedness often experience painful headaches from the strain of trying to compensate for their blurry vision. Headaches can also be related to other potentially serious eye issues and your child should be examined right away by your vision care professional.
Be sure to book a comprehensive optometry exam for your child at least once a year to ensure their eyes are healthy. Also, remember to visit your optometrist immediately if you suspect there may be a problem with your child’s vision.
To book an eye exam for you and your child, find an FYidoctors location near you.