How to know if your child needs glasses

August 22, 2016 | by Jacqueline Ross, M.D.

Have you noticed your child squinting, sitting too close to the TV or having trouble reading?

Those are telltale signs that your child may need glasses.

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. It’s the perfect month to think about eye health, as many kids are due for back-to-school physicals.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology offers four signs that a child may have vision problems:

  • A short attention span. Children may lose interest in an activity that requires extended use of their eyes.
  • Difficulty reading. The child may keep losing their place while reading.
  • Avoiding projects, such as reading, coloring or drawing, that require close focus.
  • Looking at things sideways. Kids who turn their head to the side to look at something right in front of them may have a refractive error, such as astigmatism, which requires glasses. 
    Your pediatrician or family doctor should conduct vision screenings each year as part of your child’s check-ups. If they suspect something isn’t right, your child should see an eye specialist.

Don’t rely on your kids to tell you they’re having trouble with their sight. They may not realize they have a vision problem.

The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus lists the main reasons kids might need glasses, including:

  • To provide better vision, so that a child may function better in his/her environment
  • To help straighten the eyes when they are crossed or misaligned (strabismus)
  • To help strengthen the vision of a weak eye (amblyopia or “lazy eye”). This may occur when there is a difference in prescription between the two eyes (anisometropia). For example, one eye may be normal, while the other eye may have a significant need for glasses caused by near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism.
  • To provide protection for one eye if the other eye has poor vision

Make sure your child starts the school year off on a healthy note! Ask your pediatrician or family doctor about your child’s vision.

Learn more about our comprehensive eye care.

Need a check-up? Find a Healthy Driven doctor that’s right for you.

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