For kids to be successful in school, they need good vision. Plain and simple. In a single day, kids are reading things on smart boards, in books, and on a computer or other devices with screens. A child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. When your child’s vision is not functioning properly, everything is affected, from their education to their participation in sports and other extracurricular. You can help prevent further suffering by knowing the signs of poor eyesight and contributing factors.
Children may not be aware of how much time they are spending on devices with screens. Some kids can go hours without interruption when playing video games and other online games. Sitting for hours in front of a computer screen stresses a kid’s eyes because the computer forces the child’s vision system to focus and strain a lot more than any other task. This prolonged activity without breaks can cause accommodative problems, digital eyestrain, and even early myopia (nearsightedness). Other negative symptoms of digital eyestrain are eye discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, and dry eyes.
Vision screenings are helpful, but they can miss serious vision problems that your eye care practitioner would catch. A child who can see the 20/20 line on a Visual acuity chart can still have vision problems, and the visual skills needed for reading and learning are much more complex than identifying letters on a wall chart.
Also, children who fail vision screenings often don’t get the vision care they need. Two studies published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that 40 to 67 percent of children who fail a vision screening do not receive the recommended follow-up care by an eye doctor.
How Often Should My Child See the Optometrist?
Your child’s first eye exam should occur when they’re about 6 months old. After that, your child should have an exam around age 3, and then again at age 6 just before they begin school.
Children should see the optometrist every two years throughout their schooling, but if your child has vision problems or is at risk for problems, they’ll need to see the optometrist once a year instead.
If your child suddenly starts showing symptoms of an eye issue, such as suddenly complaining of eye pain or chronic eye watering, for example, schedule a visit at VistaSite Eye Care right away.
10 Signs That Your Child May Have Vision Problems
- Short attention span in class and at home
- Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
- They avoid reading, homework, and other activities that strain their eyes
- Squinting, closing, or covering their eyes
- Frequent dizziness, headaches, or nausea
- Losing their place when reading a book and using a finger to guide eyes when reading
- Quickly forgetting what they read
- Consistently sitting too close to the TV and holding reading materials close to their eyes
- Performing below potential
- Seeing double