At Bristol Family Eyecare, we recommend annual pediatric eye exams to assess your child’s eye health and vision to ensure that their eyes are developing normally. However, there are some things you can look out for that may indicate whether your child has started experiencing a vision problem between their exams. Be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you notice your child suddenly doing any of the following:
Frequent squinting could be an indicator that your child is nearsighted, which means that they have trouble seeing things farther away. Squinting, or even tilting the head back, helps make distance vision a little clearer for nearsighted people.
Signs of Eye Fatigue
Squinting for long periods of time often leads to eye fatigue, which your child may not be able to describe to you. You might notice them sitting a little closer to the television or holding a book too close to their face to avoid tiring out their eyes.
Avoiding Close-Up Activities
If your child is farsighted, it means that they have trouble seeing objects nearer to them, so they might avoid doing up-close activities like coloring, puzzles, reading, and writing. A farsighted child is likely seeing 20/20 on the eye chart, which is why we also test near vision during pediatric eye exams.
Covering One Eye
Amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes) can severely affect children’s eye development. When the eyes don’t work well together, the brain favors the “better” eye, which might cause your child to cover the “bad” one. These issues can worsen over time or lead to more severe vision problems down the road, which means that the earlier they’re caught, the easier they are to correct.
Poor Hand-Eye Coordination
While some children are simply clumsy, poor hand-eye coordination can be a sign of a deeper problem. Amblyopia and strabismus can both lead to a loss of depth perception, because the eyes aren’t working together as a team. Nearsighted and farsighted children may also have trouble judging distance or grasping spatial awareness where their vision is lacking.
Frequent Eye Rubbing and Headaches
Rubbing the eyes can be a sign of eye fatigue stemming from vision trouble or possible allergies. Eye strain from compensating for poor vision can also cause headaches, especially later in the day. Headaches in particular may point to a more serious problem, so it’s important to bring your child in if they complain of frequent headaches or rub their eyes a lot.
Pediatric Eye Exams at Bristol Family Eyecare
If you find your child exhibiting any of the behaviors we’ve mentioned above, or if you have any concerns about your child’s vision or eye health, please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help!