Experts agree that 80% of a child’s learning is performed through their eyes and that as many as 1 in 4 students has a visual impairment. Children with undetected vision problems can have difficulty learning and reading, causing frustration and leading to disruptive behavior in the classroom. Catching a vision problem early is the best way to ensure success in school. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends children have their first eye exam at age 6 months. As a child grows, their eyes grow and their vision changes. Many adolescents have significant growth spurts, which can warrant an eye examination by an ophthalmologist to determine if their vision has changed.
Here are some warning signs that parents can look for if they are concerned their child might have a vision problem. If your child displays any of these signs, be sure to get them examined by an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
- Loses their place while reading
- Avoids close work
- Has a tendency to rub their eyes
- Complains of frequent headaches
- Turns or tilts their head when looking at something
- Uses a finger to keep their place when reading
- Confuses or omits simple words when reading
- Seems to consistently perform below potential
- Struggles to finish their homework
- Squints while reading or watching television
- Holds reading material too close to their face