According to some estimates, 80% of school learning is visual. If your children have just gone back to school or are getting ready to start, this is a great time to think about their visual health. Here's what you need to know to protect their eyes.
1. Kids Might Not Complain About Vision Issues
As a parent, it's easy to think that your kids will just tell you if they can't see. Unfortunately, that's often not the case. A child has nothing to compare their experience to, and as a result, they may not even realize that their vision is below par.
2. You Can Watch for Symptoms
Luckily, you can watch your child for key symptoms of poor vision. If you wear glasses or if you have a family history of eye problems, you may want to be especially vigilant - vision issues can be genetic.
Keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- Rubbing eyes a lot for no reason
- Tilting head to try to see things better
- Standing close to the TV
- Lazy or crossed eyes
If you notice your child showing any of these signs, you should take them to the eye doctor to get their eyes checked right away.
3. A Screening Is Not the Same as an Exam
Some schools offer vision screenings, and you can even do them on your own at home. A screening is where your child looks at an eye chart and says which letters they can see. If your child doesn't know the letters yet or if they have an issue such as dyslexia that makes it hard to remember letters, there are symbol charts that you can use.
These screenings give you a good idea of your child's ability to see things from a distance, but they don't provide the benefits of an exam. At an eye exam, the optometrist can test your child for signs of glaucoma as well as other eye issues. An exam also helps to make sure that your child doesn't have color blindness and that their eyes are working well together.
4. There Are Multiple Ways to Protect Kids' Eyes
Whether your child has vision issues or not, there are multiple steps you can take to help protect their eyes. Visual fatigue and even eye damage can happen as a result of staring at screens too often, and ideally, you should urge your child to take a break. In addition, you should close curtains to reduce glare and adjust the screen brightness so it's about the same as the ambient light in the room.
On top of that, you should also take steps to protect your children's eyes from injuries and UV rays. Unfortunately, glaucoma can happen as a result of trauma to the eye, and to prevent that, your child should wear protective eyewear while playing sports. Sunglasses and sun hats are also useful.
5. Vision Issues May Lead to Behavioral Issues
In some cases, when a child can't see correctly, they may get bored in school and may even start to misbehave. If your child starts misbehaving out of nowhere, you may want to consider a vision test. Also, ask the teacher to move the child to the front of the classroom to see if that helps.
6. Visual Tracking Issues May Be Mistaken for Dyslexia
Visual tracking issues are when a child can't easily process information with their eyes. They may struggle to tell the difference between the size and shape of small objects including letters. Because of that, visual processing skills can sometimes be confused with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
If your children are having issues like that, they also need a comprehensive eye exam. Ultimately, glasses can't help with visual processing issues, but your optometrist may have other suggestions.
If you want your child to survive and thrive at school and in life, they need clear vision. Schedule an eye exam today at Vision Without Limits.