About 20% of kids have eye or vision disorders, including issues like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and so-called “lazy eye” (amblyopia). Because vision plays such a critical role in learning and development, early and regular eye exams are essential.
With three locations in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, ABC Children's Eye Specialists is a trusted provider of children’s eye exams. In this post, they provide a quick review of some common — and not-so-common — symptoms that could indicate a vision problem in your child.
Sussing out your child’s vision problems
Sometimes, it’s easy to know when your child needs to see the eye doctor. Maybe your child complains of a vision problem, like blurry vision or double vision, or they report problems seeing the blackboard or whiteboard at school.
But often, kids are more circumspect or they may not realize their vision issues or symptoms aren’t normal. In those cases, the only way you’ll know it’s time for an exam is to watch your child for “clues.”
Fortunately, there are lots of signs that can indicate a problem with your child’s sight or eye health, including these:
- Crossed eyes (strabismus)
- Eyes that drift or turn inward or outward
- Excessive sensitivity to light
- Watery eyes
- Eye drainage
- Head-tilting to read or perform other tasks
- Eye rubbing
- Eye itching
- Frequent headaches
- Sitting close to the TV or computer
- Holding a book or phone very close
- Closing or covering one eye to see
- Difficulty performing “close-up” tasks
- Complaints of eye fatigue or discomfort
- Eye redness
- Difficulty with reading or schoolwork
- Eye swelling or bulging
- Drooping eyelids (ptosis)
Some of these issues are obvious (for instance, an eye that drifts inward or outward), while others require close observation of your child’s habits.
Pediatric eye exams are essential
Of course, the best way to check for vision or eye health problems in your child is to have regular pediatric eye exams. These exams use special tests and evaluations designed specifically for kids who are growing and developing.
It’s important to note that while school eye checkups perform an important service in identifying kids with basic vision issues, they are not intended as a substitute for a comprehensive pediatric ophthalmology exam. Professional eye exams check for problems with vision as well as issues that could be affecting your child’s growth and development in terms of their eyes and their sight.
Vision problems don’t just affect your child at school. They can make it harder to enjoy activities with family and friends, and interfere with social development, too. When diagnosis of a vision problem is delayed, it can lead to poor school performance and issues with self-esteem and confidence.
Pediatric exams also look for eye diseases and less common childhood eye problems, including tumors that can begin in childhood. Having exams on a routine basis ensures your child enjoys optimal eye health now and during their adult years, too. And of course, if your child needs corrective lenses, regular exams are critical for ensuring their prescription evolves as their vision needs change with growth and development.
Be proactive: Schedule a pediatric eye exam
Childhood is a time of rapid growth and development, and if eye problems aren’t treated early, they can cause lifelong vision loss. Scheduling regular pediatric eye exams is the best way to help your child enjoy optimal vision and eye health. To schedule an exam for your child, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists today.