Vision is the most important sensory system for us, humans, making it essential to maintain it healthy. While an adult can easily notice vision changes and take action, the same does not apply for children. In such a case, the responsibility to address any possible vision related problems of our children falls on us.
As children are still very young it might be very hard for them to identify and describe any issues with their own vision. This can, in many ways, cause issues in their daily lives, leading to poor self-esteem and frustration, which are the result of not being able to properly perform in all manner of daily tasks. If they have had a condition ever since they have been small, it would be much tougher to communicate and explain it to an adult, too, since they might even perceive it normal.
How can you find out if your child has a vision related issue?
There are a lot of tells, which might hint a possible eye condition, plaguing your little ones. The most important part is to actively participate in their learning process and be as supportive as you can. Here are some things that you should look out for:
1. Your child falling behind in learning - this can be the result of vision problems or learning disorders. Being unable to concentrate on studying for long, unusual fatigue whenever reading or constantly losing track of the sentences they read may indicate there is a vision related problem.
2. Sitting too close to objects they observe - children are easily fascinated and love taking in things that are visually appealing to them from a very close proximity, however, if your notice your child sitting close to larger objects like your TV or putting a book very close to their face on a regular basis, you should consider booking a check up.
3. Twisting their head in order to see better - often taking uncomfortable positions, tilting their head and similar behaviour. Re-adjusting the position of our eyes and head is one of the simplest ways to tell that an individual has trouble seeing something properly.
4. Headaches and eye pain - if your kid often suffers headaches, without an obvious cause for them, they may very well be connected to their ability to properly see objects, instead turning into a chore. Trying to focus on an object, while having a condition preventing them from doing so, can easily cause unpleasant headaches.
5. Frequent eye rubbing - while this can mean sleepiness as well, if done excessively, it could easily be hinting at your child having troubles with their eyesight, needing to rub their eyes in response to discomfort they are feeling.
6. Unusual eye movements - Strabismus and Lazy Eye are two conditions which can be observed in young children, which might be a tell, that there is something not quite right with their vision. They involve involuntary movements or the inability of the eye to move in one or more directions, rendering the eyes unable to synchronise, while looking in a certain direction.
Fearing that your child might have an eye condition impairing their vision?
Even if your child has passed eye tests in school or pre-school, it is possible to miss some of those issues. Once you suspect that something might be wrong with the sight of your child you should schedule an appointment with an eye specialist, so they can identify and take appropriate measures to correct any conditions your child might be experiencing.
Most refractive errors are easy to correct and even other conditions can be halted or rid off, if they are caught on time. In the case of refractive errors, they will often be treated, with simple glasses prescription. Strabismus and lazy eye could also easily be treated with patches and other therapies that aim at strengthening the eye muscles. Surgeries can also prove effective.