If your child is reporting frequent headaches, is bumping into things or seems like he or she is squinting when looking at a book, these are sure signs of a need for a vision exam. For a parent, it can be a challenge to determine whether a child is just behaving funny or if there truly is a vision disorder. These tips can help a parent to determine if a child needs corrective contacts or eyeglasses.
Vision Testing at School
Many schools offer preliminary vision testing to kindergarten students and every year or two after that. These tests are basic examinations of a child's vision. Some companies, like Discover Vision Centers, realize that these test can predict nearsightedness or farsightedness, but may not be able to detect other vision issues such as lazy eye or astigmatism. If your child does not pass a school vision test, this is a good sign that he or she needs glasses.
Difficulty with seeing the whiteboard at school or the words on the pages of a book suggests that your child needs contacts or eyeglasses. Kids might also start to have difficulty with reading on a computer monitor or the screen of an electronic device. Your child might report that the words blur together or seem to move around the page.
Tripping or Loss of Coordination
If your child begins to trip a lot or seems to be klutzy when simply walking through a room, it could be due to a vision issue. Your child might not be able to clearly see his or her feet on the floor or where a step ends. Other medical issues can also cause a loss of coordination, so it is important to follow up with an eye doctor on this.
Professional Eye Exam
The best way to find out if your child needs contacts or eyeglasses is to schedule a professional eye exam. The eye doctor will screen your child's vision in several different ways, including near and far vision, color vision and visual orientation. The doctor also checks for disorders of the eye, including high pressure, cataracts and poor coordination.
When a child is apprehensive about an eye exam, consider visiting a pediatric vision specialist. These ophthalmologists offer child-sized equipment and a kid-friendly environment. If it turns out that your child does need glasses or contacts, allow him or her to pick out the frames or type of lenses. This increases the chances that your child will actually wear the corrective lenses.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter @RachelleWilber