Children are always learning. Even before they start school.
They learn in many ways but the most important part of learning is what they see. A child must see well to learn colors, numbers and reading. They must be able to see what a teacher writes on the board and what is in their workbooks.
Out of every 4 children, one child has problems seeing well. This can be a problem seeing close up (farsightedness), or at a distance (nearsightedness). Or eye-sight can be blurry overall (astigmatism). If these vision problems are not diagnosed by an optometrist, they can lead to poor grades in school. They can even lead to problems with friends and family because of the low self-esteem.
Here is what you need to watch for as a parent or caregiver:
- Eyes moving separately from each other
- Double or blurred vision
- Headaches from eyes working hard to focus
- Blinking a lot
- Closing one eye or tilting the head to read
- Crossed eyes
- Eye rubbing
- Lack of eye-hand coordination
- Getting too close to a book or television
- Using finger to follow lines when reading
- Doesn’t understand what was just read
- Reading slowly
- Reversing letters or words
Children with untreated vision problems might feel embarrassed because they can’t read well, or they get tired easily from their eyes trying hard to see something that is out of focus. The struggle to see well may cause a child to give up and just not read, not try to do homework.
Sometimes, children who don’t see well can be misdiagnosed with a learning disability. But with an eye exam and the correct glasses, they are able to read well, they learn better and they feel like they are part of the class again.
All children should have an eye exam before starting school at age 5. And then at least once a year after that because eyesight can change over time. By having eyes checked regularly, children will be able to keep up with their classmates and enjoy school more. This is something that will have a lasting effect on their lives.
If you need help setting up an eye exam for your child, contact us!