Warning Signs of Vision Problems in Children

Boy in glasses

Consider that around 80% of learning is visual, and 60% of children with learning difficulties have undiagnosed vision problems. You can bet the two are related.

The connection between vision problems and learning disabilities stems from the fact that children often don’t self-report. When they struggle with visual tasks, they may not understand the problem stems from their eyes. All they know is they’re having a harder time than their peers, which is confusing and upsetting, especially if teachers and parents scold them for falling behind.

To make sure you don’t mistake vision problems for learning disabilities, find out more about childhood eyesight and what signs to watch for in your child.

Common Childhood Vision Problems

In addition to a lack of self-reporting, many vision problems go undiagnosed because many children don’t get annual eye exams. These exams involve much more than just reading letters off a big E chart. An experienced eye doctor can also test for these hidden conditions:

  • Astigmatism is a refractive error that causes blurry vision. However, the effect is sometimes slight enough that a vision screening misses it. If left untreated, astigmatism can lead to amblyopia.
  • Amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye,” is characterized as poor vision in one eye. Causes may include astigmatism, crossed eyes, or a difference in each eye’s refractive error. Without treatment, amblyopia may cause permanent vision loss.
  • Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes that causes them to turn in, out, up, or down. Treatment includes wearing a patch or specially designed glasses.
  • Convergence insufficiency is a binocular vision problem that causes the eyes to drift outward when looking at things up close, making it difficult to read.

Signs of Vision Problems in Children

It’s never a bad idea to take your child to an eye doctor to check for signs of vision problems. Still, you may be able to spot some of the signs yourself. Here’s what to look for:

  • Misaligned eyes
  • Squinting
  • Often covering one eye
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
  • Avoiding up-close activities
  • Holding reading materials up close or far away
  • Losing their place when reading
  • Difficulty remembering what they just read
  • Complaints of frequent headaches

Schedule Your Child’s Next Eye Exam Today!

Ensuring your child gets help for a vision disorder should be one of your top priorities as a parent. Doing so can improve your child’s classroom performance, boost their self-esteem, and lead to better learning and growth in the future.

Spindel Eye Associates is proud to offer pediatric eye exams, using the latest techniques to diagnose eye problems and provide effective care for your child. Whether you notice signs of vision problems or not, we recommend scheduling eye exams every one to two years for school-age children and adults alike. For more information or to set up an appointment in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, or Raymond NH, please call 603.421.6536 or contact us online.