It's easy to tell when your child has a visible wound, but when it comes to vision problems, they can be hard to detect. Although you may think that you have to depend on your child to tell you when he or she is having vision trouble, that isn't necessarily the case. If you know the warning signs to watch out for, you may be able to spot vision problems long before your child thinks to say anything about it. Here are several indicators that you should watch for to determine if your child is having trouble seeing.
Following Book Text with a Finger
Many kids rely on their finger to track their place in text as they are learning to read. However, if your child has moved beyond finger tracking and suddenly starts doing it again, or never moves beyond it, this may be a sign that he or she has visual tracking problems or issues with vision clarity. Following text with a finger makes it easier for a child with visual tracking difficulties to follow text. The best way to determine the presence of this type of problem is with a comprehensive vision evaluation.
Sitting Close to the Screen
If your child's favorite TV spot has gradually become closer to the screen, that's a sure sign that he or she is struggling to see. Since the best viewing distance for televisions varies by size, the best way to judge this is if your child is sitting closer to the television than before.
The same can be said for holding books too close. If your child is leaning in close to books when trying to read or holding a book closer than arm's length, that may be an indicator of vision issues. Schedule an eye exam right away in cases like this, because you don't want your child to become discouraged with reading because of vision difficulties.
Frequent Eye Rubbing
A common response to blurry vision is to rub your eyes. If you see this from your child frequently, it could be an indication that he or she isn't seeing clearly. It could also be caused by allergies and other physical problems, so it's important to consider some of the other indications of vision issues before you assume that poor eyesight is the culprit.
Some kids find that too much light can be uncomfortable when they have vision problems. If the eye isn't adjusting to the ambient light properly, a bright room can be painful for the eyes. Additionally, if your child is turning on a large number of lights or sitting directly below a light bulb to read, that could be a sign of weak vision.
Squinting and Covering One Eye
When one eye is the source of a vision issue, you might find that your child starts squinting with the problem eye in an effort to force the strong eye to take over. Another way to do this is by covering the weak eye. If you see your child looking at things through a single eye, even if it seems to be only occasional, it's time to call an eye doctor. If problems like this are left unaddressed, you might find that your child's strong eye becomes weaker due to strain from the forced compensation.
It is essential that you are attentive to your child's vision quality, because it sets the stage for academic achievement and life-long skill development. With the information presented here, you can spot many of the subtle warning signs of potential vision problems. Use this information to determine when you might need an ophthalmologist to evaluate your child's eyesight. For more information, contact a local eye clinic like Advanced Retinal Institute Inc.