“Your child’s vision is crucial for school success. Any vision anomaly can compromise class performance as well.”
Vision problems are common among school children and most of them go away with time. Still, Prevent Blindness America has estimated that every one-in-four school age child has certain vision problem which if left untreated can seriously hamper learning ability, character development and trouble adjusting to the class environment.
Since these children are actively engages in various recreational activities, having a good vision is important. All such afterschool and recreational activities are no fun with a compromised vision. Here’s what your eye specialist doctor would say when you’re consulting!
Early warning symptoms
Most common cause is “refractive errors” which further triggers vision problems amongst the school aged. Teachers and parents likewise should pay attention to the early warning symptoms:
- Sitting too close to television, computer or holding a book or any digital device closer to the eyes
- Losing focus while reading or finger tracing to guide the eyes is a common sign of rising refractive error
- Frequent tilting of the head or squinting to see better and constantly rubbing the eyes
- Excessive tearing and redness in the eye or, photophobia (light sensitivity)
- Child avoid certain activities which require near vision including reading, homework or distance vision, various sports and recreational activities
- Frequent complains of headaches and tired/sleepy eyes
- Avoid using computers and digital devices since it hurts the eyes
- Getting low grades in different subjects
If your child exhibits any of these signs, better schedule an appointment with an eye specialist doctor. A visit can reveal if the child’s facing myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism. These are some of the most common refractive errors that can be easily corrected with contact lenses and eyeglasses.
Learning Disabilities (LD)
Yet another concern with school children is of “learning disabilities” (LD) and as per the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, every one-in-ten school child is affected by the anomaly.
Although not directly correlated to vision, learning disabilities are psychological disorders that at times can coexist with LDs. A recent study also revealed that binocular vision problems (convergence insufficiency and intermittent exotropia) are commonly diagnosed against the onset as well as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
In case your child frequently write letters and alphabets in reverse, exhibit poor than average handwriting, have difficulty or simply dislike reading, writing and math activities, seek medical assistance and have the anomalies treated in time. Such things can be accompanied further by inappropriate behaviour and social isolation.
Multidisciplinary approach is perhaps the best way to determine the cause of learning issues. As a parent, your first step is a meeting with the child’s class teacher and discuss any unusual behaviour in school. All of this then has to be shared with an expert eye doctor holding specialty in paediatric eye exams to correctly diagnose the problem and take on the course of treatment.
Back to school days
Now that summer vacations are over and school routine has begun, it’s time to have your child’s vision check for maximum safety and prevention.