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Identifying Vision Problems In Children

Vision problems are extremely common in children, however parents should keep a look out for warning signs to ensure that the little ones receive timely treatment

With summer breaks setting in, your children are likely to spend a lot of time watching television, playing games, swimming and doing a host of other activities that actually expose their eyes to varying environmental conditions. For instance, too much television tends to tire the eyes too soon and can actually end up harming your child. Similarly, playing video games should also not turn into an addiction, else it can damage the eyes due to extensive exposure.

Vision: The Key To Success

Most of the learning for children happens through their vision. In addition to that, children require healthy vision for recreational activities as well. Vision problems in young children, if left untreated can affect their development too. Having an uncorrected vision problem can inhibit your child’s ability to learn considerably.

AdobeStock_5439275Identifying the warning signs!

As a parent, you need to keep your eyes open to be able to identify the warning signs that could indicate the possibility of a vision problem in your children. Here are eight signs you should keep a lookout for:

Sitting too close to watch TV

Is your child sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close? If the answer to this question is yes, then this habit could be a sign of a lurking vision problem. Most likely, this could indicate that your child is nearsighted. It would be best to get his or her eyes examined as well as get the required visual aid to prevent further eye strain.

Frequently rubbing eyes

Children are often known to rub their eyes when they are tired or feel upset. But if you see your child rub his or her eyes while trying to concentrate on something, it hints at the presence of a vision problem.

Difficulty in reading

When a child is learning to read, he or she is likely to use the finger to focus on particular words. This is normal, in the initial stage. Gradually your child should be able to read without relying on the finger to locate the words. But, if you notice your child losing place while trying to do so, this means that he or she could be suffering from a vision problem. To simply verify the presence of a problem, ask your child to read aloud without using the finger. If the kid is unable to do so, the parents should get his or her eyesight examined.

Sensitivity in the eyes

Children’s eyes being particularly sensitive to indoor lighting, sunshine or even camera flashes is not a sign that you should ignore. Occasionally, if they exhibit sensitivity at particular times like when they have just woken up, it is normal. However, if such sensitivity is persistent, it should be looked upon as an indicator of a vision problem. In many cases, children exhibiting extreme light sensitivity are diagnosed with photophobia. Additional symptoms that parents can watch out for in such cases are their children complaining of frequent headaches and nausea. 

AdobeStock_104154018Closing one eye to read/watch

When children find it difficult to focus, they often shut one eye and strain the other in order to be able to read, watch or write. The eyes are supposed to work like a team and if your child is straining one eye, it clearly hints at the presence of a vision problem that needs addressing. Such eye teaming problems are often categorised as convergence insufficiency.

Difficult to read the blackboard

If your child complains of not being able to read the blackboard properly or that his teachers find him being unable to focus on what is being taught, it could be due to a vision problem. Usually, this is a prominent symptom and very easy to identify. All you need to do is interact with your children and their teachers on a regular basis.

hurting eyes

Does your child refrain from usual activities like playing games, using a computer, reading, etc. complaining that their eyes hurt? When there are vision problems, eyes often hurt. This is because they are straining their eyes instead of relying on visual aid. This problem usually stems from extensive computer usage. Make it a point to ensure that your child avoids excessive exposure to such screens. Instead, encourage them to play outdoor games.

Squinting the eyes

Squinting the eyes is often a sign that your child is unable to focus. This is an adjustment to help them see better, but it actually indicates the presence of a vision problem. If you see your child squint their eyes too often, ensure that you get their eyes examined.

It is very important to make your child undergo a detailed eye exam on a regular basis. After all, it helps identify vision problems at an early stage. This in turn will ensure that you as the parent are able to make the corrective changes in your child’s life and prevent further damage to his or her vision.