6 Signs Your Child Needs an Eye Exam

As a parent, you must stay on top of your little one's health and well-being. While regular checkups with their pediatrician are important, many parents overlook the essentiality of comprehensive eye exams. Eye exams can detect various eye conditions, from minor refractive errors to serious eye diseases. 

  • Squinting or Tilting the Head

If you notice your toddler tilts their head or squints to have clearer vision, it could be a symptom of vision issues. Typically, squinting helps regulate the light entering your baby's eyes. It makes it easier for them to see well. Similarly, when your young one tilts their head to one side, it can help adjust the angle of vision. However, it is not a natural or sustainable way to see better.

  • Sitting Too Close to the TV

Contrary to popular belief, sitting too close to the TV does not necessarily cause vision problems. But if your child consistently sits too close to it, it could signify nearsightedness (myopia). 

Nearsightedness is a common refractive error where distant objects look fuzzy. Thankfully, it is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. So, if your child sits too close to the TV, take note and schedule an eye exam.

  • Rubbing of the Eyes

If your child rubs their eyes frequently, it could signal eyestrain or fatigue. Eyestrain can be due to prolonged use of digital devices. They include smartphones, tablets, and laptops, to name a few. 

Reading in poor lighting or spending too much time outdoors without proper eye protection may also impact their eye health. While eyestrain is not typically severe, it can cause discomfort and affect your child's ability to concentrate. An expert eye exam can help identify the cause of eyestrain and provide solutions to alleviate the discomfort.

  • Experiencing Headaches

Headaches can be due to many issues, like dehydration, lack of sleep, and stress. But if your child experiences frequent headaches, it could indicate an underlying vision issue. An eye exam by your professional eye doctor can help identify the root cause of the headaches. They can also provide solutions to alleviate the discomfort.

  • Poor Grades or Difficulty Reading

If your child has difficulty reading or struggles in school, it could signal a vision problem. Vision plays a significant role in learning and can impact your little one's ability to read and write. If they have difficulty reading or struggle in school, call your eye doctor as soon as possible.

  • Covering One Eye

If your baby often squints or covers one eye, it could be a symptom of a more serious vision problem. Squinting or covering one eye can indicate amblyopia, commonly referred to as lazy eye. 

Amblyopia occurs when one eye does not develop properly, and the brain favors the other. If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to permanent vision loss in the affected eye. If your child has these tendencies, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

For more on pediatric eye exams, visit Ocean Park Optometry at our office in Santa Monica, California. Call (310) 452-1039 to book an appointment today.

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