7 Signs Your Child Needs Glasses

kid with glassesHelping your kids excel at school starts largely with their eyes: 80 percent of learning is accomplished through those peepers, so making sure they're in good shape is crucial. Yet one-quarter of kids in school have vision problems, and as many as one third haven't had an eye examination by the time they start school.

Making matters more complicated is the fact that if your kid does have vision problems, he may not be aware of it. Instead, he sits there struggling to read what's on the chalkboard, and his grades start to plummet. Meanwhile you're scratching your head wondering what's up when the answer could be staring you in the face! Here are some surprising signs that your child may need glasses


How to tell if your kid needs glasses

  1. Squinting. Sure, we've all heard that squinting at a chalkboard is a classic sign that a kid needs glasses, but this symptom can also crop up with nearby objects. The squinting may start off so subtle that you won't see it unless it's squarely on your radar, but keep a lookout.
  2. Frequent blinking. Another dead giveaway. "Squinting and blinking may mean a child likely has a refractive error preventing his eyes from focusing well," says Dr. Mark Jacquot, Clinical Director of Vision Care at LensCrafters. The most common refractive errors are myopia, or nearsightedness, and hyperopia, or farsightedness.
  3. Head tilting. Isn't it cute how your darling cocks his head to the side while watching Octonauts? Perhaps, but it may also be your child’s unconscious attempt to adjust an angle and find a clearer picture, which often happens when vision in one eye is significantly worse than in the other. Your child might also close or cover one eye, warns Marc Weinstein, an optometrist and co-founder of 39DollarGlasses.com.
  4. Eye rubbing. Is your sweetie sleepy while reading his books? Perhaps, although if it's nowhere near bedtime, the real answer may be eye strain.

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  5. End-of-day headaches. If your child complains of headaches that typically crop up at the end of the day, that could be due to the fact that his eyes are pooped! Glasses might solve not only those vision problems but those headaches all in one fell swoop.
  6. Struggling to read. If your child isn't reading on par with his peers, his peepers rather than his reading skills may be the culprit. Some dead giveaways: He loses his place while reading, skips lines or words, uses his finger to follow words, or confuses similar-looking letters, like G and O, or V and Y.
  7. Dislike of reading. It's the "sour grapes" attitude: If your child can't easily see the words on the page, he may just develop a bad attitude about cracking books. So don't take his claim that he "doesn't like to read" at face value; make sure to rule out whether his eyesight is undermining his enthusiasm.

Bottom line: If you suspect vision problems or your child hasn't had a vision test, get him one already! These exams should be conducted once every two years, or once every year if the child has known problems. 

How did you realize your child needed glasses?


Image via Christos Tsoumplekas/Flickr; © IStock.com/Jason Lugo       

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