In a perfect world, we would all see 20/20. Needless to say, though, the world is not perfect, and many of us will need corrective lenses at some point. However, it can be difficult to tell when your child needs corrective lenses. Children may not be able to tell immediately, either, as vision issues tend to sneak up on them gradually. Below are some things to look for – these signs may mean it's time for your child to see a vision specialist.
Many of us squint occasionally to see better, but if you catch your child routinely squinting to see ahead for reasonable distances, it may be time for a vision consult. It is especially telling if your child has to squint to see the chalkboard or whiteboard at school if he or she has not previously had to do so. Not all teachers will notice this, but if you're concerned about your child's eyesight, it may be worth asking him or her to check to see if your child is squinting in class.
Losing their place when reading
This is usually easiest to notice if your child is reading aloud. A child who is beginning to need corrective lenses may accidentally skip a line or lose his or her place. Be attentive to your child's reading – sometimes this is one of the earliest signs.
Difficulty seeing isn't the only reason a child may suffer headaches, but it is very likely to cause them. Your child usually won't make the connection between troubles seeing and frequent headaches, but if your child begins having more headaches than usual, you may want to have his or her vision tested. Often, the onset of nearsightedness or farsightedness is so gradual that your child won't even realize how much less focused his or her vision has become.
Covering one eye to see better
Not all children who have trouble seeing will do this, but some of them will, especially while watching TV. They may do this instead of squinting, and they may also cover an eye while also tilting the head.
Of course, one of these signs does not absolutely mean that your child may have trouble seeing. But if you start to notice these signs, it's a good idea to have your child see a specialist – it's best to get corrective lenses as soon as possible if your child needs them.