Does Your Child Have a Vision Problem?

Up to one in four school-aged children have vision problems. If left untreated, vision problems can have a significant, negative impact on a child’s ability to learn and function in the classroom. Good vision is also important for many youth-related activities such as team sports. Traditional glasses may hamper their performance, in which case you may choose to turn to an active-friendly option like Dailies Total 1 contact lenses. Daily disposable contacts are useful for sports and activities because you can wear them when you need to and toss them at the end of the day, not having to worry about storing and cleaning them.

Why do vision problems become evident in school-aged children rather than in their younger counterparts? What signs and symptoms may indicate that your child has a vision problem?

Why School-Aged Children?

It has been estimated that nearly 80 percent of all learning a child does is through sight. As children enter the classroom, the dependence of their eyesight increases. Learning to read, write, and complete math problems, all of which require prolonged periods of concentration, place newly introduced responsibilities on a child’s eyesight. As students work on or learn to copy items from the chalkboard, their eyes must constantly refocus as they concentrate on words, numbers, and symbols that are far away from their seat and their paper which is near them. Using computers, tablets, and other electronic devices can place additional strain on their eyes.

Vision problems often emerge in school-aged children simply because the demands placed on their vision are new and more strenuous than those of early childhood.

What Signs Are Evidence of a Vision Problem?

Children may attempt to hide their vision problems. They may want to avoid wearing glasses and feeling socially different than their peers. For an older child who needs vision correction, Dailies Total 1 lenses may be a good option for addressing vision problems without the social repercussions (i.e. teasing or bullying) of glasses.

Keeping in mind that a child may try to hide a vision problem, here are some signs you should look for that may indicate a vision problem:

  • Complaining about not being able to see the board in class.

  • Avoiding tasks that require reading and other close visual work.

  • Avoiding sports and other activities that require distant vision.

  • Experiencing discomfort, fatigue, and/or a short attention span.

  • Losing place while reading or using a fingertip to guide reading.

  • Squinting and tilting his or her head to see something better.

  • Rubbing eyes.

  • Appearing to be overly sensitive to light.

  • Complaining that visual work hurts his or her eyes.

  • Holding a book close to his or her face to see more clearly.

  • Sitting too close to the television.

While a child may try to hide his or her vision problem, these signs are clear evidence that something is wrong with their sight.

What Can You Do As a Parent?

Schedule an appointment with an eye health professional as soon as your child begins to exhibit signs of vision issues. Keep in mind that a school-aged child’s vision can change rapidly. Yearly check-ups are important, but a problem may manifest itself seemingly overnight and will not wait until the next appointment for treatment.

Keep your options open. Even if your child plays sports or has an astigmatism, there are vision-correcting options available, such as Dailies Total 1 that will correct his or her vision without placing an undue burden on their normal daily activities.

Ensure compliance. Whether you choose glasses or contacts to correct your child’s vision, it is important that he or she wear them daily to reap the benefits of the diagnosis. Whether the child has myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), glasses left in the backpack or lenses left in the bathroom at home do no good. Be honest with the doctor about your child’s activities and concerns so that you can choose the vision correction that is right for your child.

Offer reassurance. Your child may feel like the only one who has a vision problem, but you can assure them that having a vision problem is a common occurrence.