How to Recognize if Your Child has a Vision Problem
Another school year is underway here in Ellisville. Parents are making appointments with the pediatrician, and taking their children shopping for school supplies and new clothes. One item that is often left off the to-do list – visiting the eye doctor.
Since 80% of learning in the classroom is based on vision, it’s important that children have annual eye exams, especially because children have a difficult time recognizing they have a vision problem. Instead, children will find ways to compensate for their declining vision.
As parents, there are a few symptoms to keep an eye out for at home. Watch your child’s behavior as they are reading or watching TV. If they are sitting close to the television, or holding a book unusually close or far away, your child may be suffering from a vision problem. Additionally, it’s important to take note of your child’s eyes. Squinting, rubbing the eyes, and excessive blinking are all signs that your child may have a vision problem.
After age 5, your child should have an annual eye exam, but if you see any of these symptoms, visit an eye care professional immediately. Eighty percent of visual impairment is preventable if detected and treated early enough.
If it is determined that your child does in fact need vision correction, a doctor will help you and your child decide if glasses or contacts are best. Often times, we see younger children get fit in glasses, with middle schoolers making the transition to contacts. Typically, we recommend a daily disposable lens for tweens and teens, like Bausch + Lomb’s SofLens daily disposables, as these lenses require no maintenance and are thrown out nightly, minimizing the risk of infection.
To ensure your child has a healthy and productive school year, consider booking an annual eye exam. After all, it’ll be difficult for your child to learn without being able to see the blackboard.
Dr. Brian Lojka is an optometrist at Clarkson Eyecare in Ellisville and LASIK-Chesterfield Valley.