How to Know When Your Child Needs Eyeglasses?

Most adults can tell when they need to go visit an optometrist for their vision problems. Children have a harder time communicating this need to their parents, especially very young children. It’s often up to the parent to pay close attention to a child’s overall well being, keeping a watchful eye out for symptoms of health problems. The child’s pediatrician is also helpful in catching vision issues that need correcting with eyeglasses. Every parent should take their child to the pediatrician for a regular check-up once a year, and more frequently for toddlers and babies. During this check up, it’s standard procedure for doctors to test for vision problems with an eye exam or by having the child read from an eye chart.

However, the child may need corrective lenses and still be able to pass a basic eye chart test. Also, the eye chart is pointless to use on young children who haven’t yet learned to read. It’s a good idea for parents to really learn about the symptoms that children tend to display when they are having pain or trouble with their eyes. Once a parent identifies the symptoms, it’s easy enough to take the child to see an optometrist for a complete eye exam.

Common Symptoms of Vision Problems in Children
The easiest symptoms of eye problems to observe in a child are the physical ones. Look out for squinting, crossing of the eyes, tearing up, and very red eyes. The child may also rub at his eyes frequently and complain of pain, blurriness, or fuzziness.

Sometimes, eye problems can go unnoticed in children after they enter their schooling years. This can be in part because a child doesn’t complain of problems, doesn’t think that the eye issues they are experiencing are abnormal, or has been misdiagnosed with another condition because of symptoms the child is displaying. Many children with eye problems have a hard time enjoying school or doing well in class. They can’t see the blackboard or their homework to do it. Also, the child may act out, get distracted, or ignore the teacher out of boredom because he can’t see what’s being taught. When kids have problems with their classes or express a disinterest in learning to read or reading books for pleasure, eye problems could be the cause of it.

Quick Look at Symptoms of Vision Problems:

 Squinting
 Crossed eyes
 Redness
 Tearing up
 Complaining of pain
 Complaining of blurriness or fuzziness
 Doesn’t like reading
 Trouble seeing chalkboard/reading teacher’s handwriting
 Doesn’t pay attention in class/acting out


What to Do?
When a parent suspects their child needs prescription eyeglasses, it’s time to make an appointment with a pediatric optometrist. A traditional optometrist will also be able to see the child, but won’t specialize in examining young children’s eyes. Depending on the child’s age, the optometrist will perform different tests to look for problems. Very young children don’t know how to read yet and won’t be able to read a traditional eye chart. Optometrists can measure this child’s eyes to determine how the pupils are working and find out the child’s eye alignment. The doctor also uses a retinoscope to determine if the child is nearsighted, farsighted, or has astigmatism. All of these conditions can then be corrected with the appropriate eyeglasses prescription.

Most optometrists sell eyeglasses frames and lenses so parents can pick out special children’s frames at the same appointment. Parents have the option of getting a copy of the child’s prescription and purchasing prescription eyeglasses through another vender. This can allow the parents to price shop several different resources to find the lowest price on their prescription glasses.
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