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Your Vision in Childhood

Watch Those Eyes

Kids with vision problems will show some similar behaviors, most notably squinting. Look out for these other signs that your child is struggling to see clearly:

  • Complaining about headaches or blurry vision
  • Closing one eye
  • Rubbing the eyes
  • Complaining about pain in the eye
  • Redness, tearing, oozing, or crust in the eyes
  • Having an eye that turns in, out, up, down, or wanders
  • Eyes that cross or can't focus
  • Trouble reading -- holding the book really close to see the words

If you spot one of these symptoms, make an appointment with your child's pediatrician or an eye doctor. Getting a checkup right away can let the doctor find vision problems before they can affect your child's sight -- and school performance. It is very important to watch your child, since many kids don’t know something is wrong!

Time for Glasses?

For kids with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, usually the solution is to wear eyeglasses. To get your child fitted for eyeglasses, see an eye specialist. Plastic frames and shatter-proof polycarbonate lenses are best for active kids. Letting your child pick his own frames can help him feel more involved in the process. Make the process fun. If you make negative comments about wearing glasses, they probably won't want to wear them.

Studies have shown that some younger children, even as young as 8, are mature and responsible enough to wear and care for contact lenses. You can talk about that with your child's eye doctor.

LASIK and other surgeries probably are not an option for most kids younger than 18. LASIK is only being used in very rare instances for children with severe vision problems that don't improve with glasses or contact lenses.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Robert Butterwick, OD on March 07, 2013
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