DETECTING VISION PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN
There’s more to testing your child’s vision than just reading an eye chart.
- Vision is complex. It involves the ability to focus, distinguish colors, and coordinate head and eye movements.
- Many children don’t know they have eye problems and so they don’t seek help. Parents have to be on the alert.
- By 6 months of age, a baby’s eyes should be steady and straight.
- To be sure that the eyes are functioning properly, have your child’ vision thoroughly examined during infancy and annually thereafter.
- Between checkups, look for these clues to vision problems.
- The physical appearance of the eye may change when there is an impairment.
- Changes include excessive watering, hazy pupils, swollen or encrusted eyelids, frequent sties and extreme sensitivity to light.
- Often, coordination problems are the tip-off.
- Does the baby have difficulty picking things up?
- Does the child frequently bump into things, trip and stumble?
- Does the baby turn his or her head strangely?
- Headaches, squinting, blinking, favoring one eye and rubbing the eyes may indicate problems.
- A child who holds objects very close or very far away may be having problems focusing.
- School-age children with vision disorders sometimes have trouble reading the blackboard.
- Their written work may provide clues such as poor alignment, confusion of letters and unusual color choices.
- These children may also become irritable when doing work or playing games which require vision skills.