Studies have suggested that about 80% of learning in school is done visually. This means that when children experience issues with their vision it could severely affect their development. Young kids will not be able to distinguish a problem on their own, this is why it is important to learn the warning signs of vision problems in kids to ensure your child has optimal vision health.
1. SITTING OR HOLDING OBJECTS A LITTLE TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
If you are noticing that your child is sitting really close to the TV, it is probably not because they want to get as close as they possibly can to the action. Sitting close to the TV, or holding a book really close to their face is a good indication that they are having issues with their sight.
If your child is having troubles seeing images on the TV clearly or has to hold a book really close in order to see the words this may mean they are nearsighted.
2. EYE RUBBERS
When a child rubs their eyes, it can indicate a few things. Your first instinct would be that they are rubbing their eyes because they are tired or upset. However, if you catch your child rubbing their eyes while they are truly trying to concentrate, whether it be on the soccer field or attempting to finish their math homework, these may be a sign of vision issues. Children attempt the rubbing of their eyes to try and gain better focus and for the most part, focus will not be achieved.
3. LIGHT SENSITIVE, OR EXPERIENCE EXCESSIVE TEARING
Photophobia is the extreme sensitivity to indoor lighting, sunshine, and camera flashes. If your child’s eyes frequently water or they experience frequent headaches and begin to feel nauseous after light exposure then they may be light sensitive. Being light sensitive can be an indicator of many eye conditions.
4. DROPPING GRADES
As kids get older the curriculum obviously gets harder, but if you are noticing a significant drop in your child’s grade this could be due to experiencing issues with vision. Most learning is done visually, so if your child is having trouble seeing what is being written on the board they will not be learning the full lesson. Book a full eye exam right away as getting contacts or glasses may just be the answer for a grade booster.
5. SQUINTING AND THE HEAD TILT
We all subconsciously do it, whether it’s because the sun is in our eyes or an object is a little too far away. Squinting is nothing new to indicate vision issues. Pssst Teachers…. this is one for you to keep an eye on! If a student noticeably tilts their head to see the board or is constantly squinting to see better, take action and move them closer to the board, and suggest an eye exam to their parents.
6. DIGITAL EYE STRAIN
Digital eyestrain is a common condition in this digital age, and it is even more common for the younger crowd. If your child is experiencing discomfort while using digital devices, encourage them to use the 20-20-20 rule. Every twenty minutes, have them look twenty feet away for twenty seconds. If discomfort continues to exist take them to see an eye doctor.
Not all eye conditions will exhibit true telling symptoms like the ones above. Therefore it is important to stay on top of your ocular health with annual eye exams. It is recommended the first eye exam to be completed at 6 months, then at 3 years of age and then annually once they have started school.
Like Dr.D’Orio & Associates Eye Care Facebook Page to learn more on how you can keep your families eyes healthy!