Most of the illnesses and health-related problems are quite easy to detect in children as they show visible discomfort and complain of pain or other symptoms. But when it comes to their eyes, it can get complicated. 

Vision or eye-sight problems are common among school-age kids. Your child’s eyesight undergoes changes over time. As an infant, your child may have blurry vision and see the world as light and dark, and as your child grows, his/her eyesight will sharpen. 

Poor vision can interfere with your child’s ability to learn and play at school. Your child might find it difficult to concentrate and take longer to grasp or understand things. Poor vision in childhood can lead to your child having to wear glasses. Most children are not comfortable wearing glasses and this can damage their social and interpersonal relationships. Remember that vision problem, if detected earlier can be treated. 

Always be on the look-out for the following signs and symptoms that suggests your child’s vision needs correction:

1. Inability to read the board at school. If your child’s teacher complains that he/she is unable to read the board from a far distance or from the last bench in the classroom, you need to take it seriously. Other ways of knowing it are to check if your child is suddenly noting down wrong spellings and sentences from the board, which is otherwise unlikely.

2. Sitting too close to the TV. If your child prefers sitting too close to the television, it might be a sign that he/she isn’t able to watch it clearly from a distance. You should also notice if they are squeezing their eyes to get a better view when sitting far from the television. If you see your child squinting (look at someone or something with one or both eyes partly closed in an attempt to see more clearly) or tilting the head to see better, you might want to check with your doctor.

3. Frequently rubbing his/her eyes. If your child has a weak eye, then he/she might struggle to see clearly from a distance and put too much pressure on his/her eyes. Your child’s eyes might feel tired and fatigued, leading to irritation and frequent rubbing of the eyes by your child.

4. Using his/her fingers to read. If your child is using his fingers to keep a track of where he/she is reading, he/she might have an eye-sight problem that is keeping him/her from syncing the text automatically. Additionally, if your child loses his/her place while reading and finds it difficult to locate the last word, it can be indicative of a vision problem.

5. Complaining of frequent headaches. Headaches aren’t common with children but if your child is complaining of it, again and again, it might have to do something with his/her eyes. If you have a doubt, take your child to the paediatrician first, and when recommended (or if you see other signs), take your child to the ophthalmologist (a specialist concerned with the study and treatment of diseases of the eye).

A few other signs that you must be mindful of is if your child :

  • Is avoiding playtime to watch television/computer.

  • Has sensitivity to light, if he/she closes one eye while reading or watching the TV.

  • Is not taking interest in reading and his/her grades and scores are suddenly dropping.

Ignoring eye-related problems can lead to their rapid worsening. Consult your paediatrician/ophthalmologist as soon as you notice any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.