Every parent has moments where they find themselves questioning the need for a medical professional. Kids have varying levels of their ability to communicate and it can be easy to miss symptoms that might point to the need for a visit to the eye doctor. Here is a list of common symptoms that might signal that it is time to take your child to a local optician:
If you notice that one eye doesn't follow like the other, this can be due to a condition known as "lazy eye". It happens when your child's vision is damaged in that eye and after some time the brain will stop using the image it produces. This causes weaker eye muscles that leave it leaning in or out and unaligned with the other eye. Prescription glasses can help correct this because the weak muscle will not have to work as hard to keep up with the good eye.
Tilting their Head or Squinting
Teachers have been known to send their students to the nurse's office for eye exams because of the behavior they observe from the front of the classroom. If a child is squinting or tilting their head this is usually a good indication that they are really straining to see. From the front of the classroom it can be obvious that a student is struggling. Most children won't be aware that they are having vision trouble because this is what they think is normal.
Attention Span Issues
If your child seems to be struggling to pay attention, this can be a sign that they are distracted because of trouble with their vision. When a child can't see the board at the front of the class they are more likely to have a hard time focusing. They can be more agitated because of the frustration they feel due to the lack of understanding of what is being taught. It is normal for kids have energy to burn and to have a hard time sitting still. If you start noticing a pattern with this behavior you should take them to have their eyes checked.
Catching vision issues early on can sometimes help prevent eye sight from getting worse. Helping a child correct their vision can be life-changing and affect many parts of their life. The next time you find yourself wondering if it's time for an eye exam, call your eye doctor and make an appointment.