No parent wants to hear their child is having vision problems, but 10 million children suffer some form of vision impairment, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. Bad eyesight leads to many issues, from headaches to bad grades, so knowing the appropriate way to address vision issues makes all the difference in the world to your child. The ways to identify and handle bad eyesight varies based on your child's age, and the sooner you find out there's a problem, the more quickly you can avoid the bad side effects associated with poor vision.
As a toddler, your child may not be able to properly communicate they are having a problem seeing things. Look for signs that some type of vision issue is developing or already in place. A few signs of toddler vision problems include holding books closely, closing one eye to focus, having poor night vision, squinting, or avoiding visual stimuli close-up or far away.
Once you suspect a problem at any age range, an ophthalmologist runs a series of tests to determine what vision problems are present and the best course of action to correct them. Durable glasses designed for toddler use corrects vision at this age, and it offers a way to teach your toddler about personal responsibility when it comes to taking care of their glasses.
When children get into school, developing eye problems have more than mere physical side effects. They also run the risk of affecting your child's grades or participation in fun activities. Some children don't want to admit they have a problem, as they want to avoid being made fun of for wearing glasses. Talk to your child's teacher to determine if poor school performance may be an indicator the child cannot see the blackboard or read the books properly. Throughout this age range, children will still be wearing glasses.
Middle school or high school is a good age to begin looking into contacts for your child if they want to move away from glasses. At this age, they understand responsibility and know how to take care of their own belongings. If you feel your child is capable of taking care of their contacts properly, based on how well they handle their current responsibilities, contact lenses provide better vision improvement, reduce the amount of teasing a child deals with in school and improves their self-esteem overall.
After your child turns 18, they can look into permanently fixing their vision issues. Lasik cannot be performed on children, but as soon as they become a legal adult, you can look into getting them this surgery. Some people prefer to stick with contacts or glasses, so talk to your child to see what they prefer.
Written by Marge Wilson. Marge is a widowed mother of two teenage boys who writes about parenting and living as a single mom.