What are the Warning Signs of Vision Problems in Children?

Jun 14, 2022 | Eye Health

Did you know that one in four school-aged kids has a vision problem?

In fact, many vision problems don’t show any signs until they start affecting a child’s ability to learn and read. Up to 80% of learning in school is visual, and children aren’t always able to tell you they are having problems with their vision. When a child has a vision problem, it can put them at a serious disadvantage at school and in their social development. That’s why it’s important for parents to be on the lookout for any warning signs of vision problems in their children.

Common vision problems in children

  • Myopia, or nearsightedness, affects millions of people worldwide, including children. Myopia occurs when the eye grows too long, or the front part of the eye is too curved. Myopia causes blurry vision when looking at things in the distance, such as a blackboard in a classroom. Myopia can be hereditary, so if one or both parents are nearsighted, the child may be, too. At Coral Gables Eye Care and Clarin Eye Care, we offer myopia management in Coral Gables and Palmetto Bay to help slow the progression of this condition and prevent more serious issues later in life.  
  • Amblyopia, otherwise known as “lazy eye,” is a vision condition that develops when one eye is unable to produce full visual acuity. Amblyopia is usually diagnosed in early childhood. Sometimes the affected eye will turn, which is a sign of a problem, but sometimes it doesn’t. Kids who have amblyopia will have blurry vision, poor depth perception, and reading difficulties.
  • Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a vision problem in which an object in the distance becomes focused behind the retina. Children who have hyperopia can usually see things in the distance but have problems seeing things up close, such as a book.
  • Astigmatism is a visual condition in which the cornea is abnormally curved, making objects up close and in the distance blurry.
  • Convergence insufficiency is a binocular vision problem in which the eyes drift outward when looking at things up close, such as a book. This can make reading very difficult for a child.
  • Strabismus, also known as hypertropia or “crossed eyes,” is a condition in which the eyes are misaligned. One eye turns toward the nose or outward while the other eye remains fixed. Uncorrected strabismus can lead to amblyopia.

Warning signs of vision problems in children

If you notice an eye turning in or out or that your child is frequently squinting to see, these are obvious symptoms your child may have a vision problem and needs a pediatric eye exam. Other warning signs of vision problems in children include the following:

  • Frequent eye rubbing or rapidly blinking
  • Short attention span
  • Struggling with reading or other activities up-close
  • Frequent headaches
  • Often covering up one eye when trying to see
  • Tilting their head to one side
  • Holding a book or other reading materials up close to their eyes
  • Frequently losing their place while reading
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension

Schedule an eye exam for your child

Children can’t always communicate they’re having vision problems, so the best way to ensure your child isn’t struggling due to a vision problem is to have their eyes thoroughly examined by an expert optometrist. At Clarin Eye Care Center and Coral Gables Eye Care, we offer pediatric eye exams in Coral Gables and Palmetto Bay to ensure your child’s eyes and visual skills are developing on track. Our eye doctors have years of experience in pediatric eye care and can diagnose and properly treat vision problems in children. Book an appointment for an eye exam today.