Your child's doctor will check for signs of vision problems during well-child visits as your baby grows, but you'll also want to have your child's vision checked by an optometrist before starting school. Formal vision testing picks up on problems that are easy to miss during a physical exam. Since good vision is extremely important to classroom learning, you don't want your child to develop learning problems unnecessarily. Here are some signs that might indicate your child has vision problems and that it's time for a vision test:
Physical Symptoms Such As Headaches And Nausea
If your child complains of headaches often or has problems with nausea frequently, especially when reading or watching television, then you may want to schedule an eye exam. The physical symptoms could signal a health problem, but they can also occur when your child has poor or blurry vision. When your child has to strain and struggle to make out words or focus on the television, it can lead to eye strain and headaches. Blurry vision and double vision can even lead to nausea in the same way you might feel a wave of nausea when you put on strong eyeglasses meant for someone else.
Postures That Compensate For Poor Vision
Your child's posture and body language can also provide clues to a vision problem. Your child might squint when looking at a book or tilt his or her head to one side when watching cartoons. You might notice your child leaning forward frequently when doing things that require close vision like playing games and eating. Your child may rub their eyes often due to eye strain or an attempt to clear blurriness.
Problems With Learning And Behavior In School
If your child can't see well, he or she may become frustrated and bored in a learning environment whether it is preschool or elementary school. Not being able to see well enough to read makes it difficult for your child to learn and keep up with other kids. Your child may become frustrated by the problem and not realize other kids can see more clearly. It's not likely your child will know to tell you he or she can't see clearly because that seems like a normal condition if their vision has always been that way. If your child seems to struggle in school, dislikes school, or develops behavioral problems, you'll want to uncover the cause, and you don't want to overlook poor vision as the culprit. A pair of glasses could make a big difference in your child's ability to learn and do well in school and social settings.
Many times, it is clear when your child has problems with vision, even during infancy. Other times, you may not even realize your child has a problem. That's why routine eye exams are important throughout your child's life. Vision problems can be detected and corrected before they interfere with your child's education or development.