My Child’s Eyesight: What You Need to Know

Child’s Eyesight: What You Need to KnowPencils, notebooks, crayons, chalk. You’re filling your children’s backpacks with all the supplies they need to succeed. But have you left out the most important school tool?

According to All About Vision, more than 80 percent of what a child learns in school is presented visually, so following good vision practices for your kids can make a huge difference in their academic performance. Many of the problems children have with learning is based on problems with their eyesight. It is very difficult to learn what they have trouble seeing.

Warning Signs

First and foremost, you need to pay attention to the signs that your child may have a vision impairment.

A national survey, reported by U.S. News & World Report, shows that more than 20 percent of kids aged 12 to 17 have trouble seeing the classroom chalkboard. And about 25 percent of children aged 6 to 11 have a vision impairment strong enough for them to wear prescription glasses.

But more than 66 percent of kids under the age of 6 have never had their eyes examined by an eye doctor, the survey found. And little kids don’t know how to tell you they’re having problems seeing; they just squint or sit right up in front of the TV.

These last two signs – along with frequent eye rubbing, tilting the head to see better, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, using a finger to follow along while reading, complaining of headaches or tired eyes, and closing one eye to read, watch TV, or see better – could indicate that your child has a vision problem.

If your child exhibits the above signs, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

Vision Screening: How and When

But don’t wait until something goes wrong to see the eye doctor. And don’t rely on the school nurse or your pediatrician to monitor your child’s vision, as some pediatricians don’t perform vision screenings, and school screenings are designed to alert parents to the possibility of a visual problem, not take the place of a visit to an expert eye care practitioner.

Even if your child exhibits no symptoms of visual problems, he or she should have an eye exam by the age of 6 months, then again at age 3, according to the American Optometric Association. Having a complete eye exam before your child enters school allows for enough time to catch and correct any problems while the visual system is developing.

Healthy Habits

Some other healthy vision habits to instill in kids are getting them used to wearing sunglasses. They need sun protection just as much as adults do – maybe even more, since they (hopefully) spend more time playing outdoors in direct sunlight. Which leads to what may be the biggest kid problem of our modern age: getting them away from the TV, computer, and video games.

Yes, they may protest at first, but setting reasonable limits on indoor activities like these can not only help their physical development (and help prevent such pervasive modern diseases as childhood diabetes, which can lead to serious vision problems, even blindness), but also their vision.

If you are having problems getting your child to spend time away from the television of video games, consider going on walks with them. You can make the time outside in the sun more interesting by starting a flower or vegetable garden with them. Face it, your eyes could probably use a break as well as theirs. Along with the benefits of fresh air and sunshine you can also spend some quality time with your children.

Though heredity seems to play a significant role in the development of myopia in childhood, All About Vision notes that some research suggests eye strain – specifically computer eye strain – may also be involved. And as a Rebuild Your Vision subscriber, you know all about near-point stress: to see clearly up close, the eye has to make an effort to focus.

Some researchers think that fatigue caused by excessive focusing can lead to changes within the eye that cause myopia. And experts agree that focusing on images on a computer screen causes greater eye fatigue than reading print in a book or magazine.

So have your child follow the same computer-use rules that Rebuild Your Vision has taught you, particularly the 10-10-10 rule: every 10 minutes your child should take his or her eyes off the computer and look at an object at least 10 feet away for at least 10 seconds.

And when you finally do get them outside, remember to provide protective eyewear for sports activities.

Prevent Blindness America estimates that about 40,000 sports-related eye injuries each year in the U.S. are severe enough to require emergency room care – 90 percent of these injuries could easily be prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

Finally, we at Rebuild Your Vision believe strongly in “feeding your eyes”; it has been proven over and over that good nutrition leads to healthy vision. And what better way to set your child on the right visual path (as well as a path of allover health) than getting them used to a nutritious diet at an early age?

While you may have to come up with some creative ways to sneak fruits and veggies into their meals (see Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, for tips and recipes), when your child brings home a good report card, it’ll all be worth it. One simple step that you can take is to make sure that there are always vegetables and dip in the fridge. Children are more likely to eat them if they are prepared and easy to grab.

Keeping fresh or dried fruits in the house is another good option. It is much easier to instill good eating habits in children when they are young. However, even with an older child, you can change the way they eat by not stocking the high sugar snacks. Trail mix and granola are some other healthy options that your children can snack on.

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About Orlin Sorensen

My vision started to get blurry as a young teenager. Soon I was wearing glasses for just about everything. This was a hard blow for me because I had always dreamed of becoming a U.S. Navy fighter pilot which required perfect vision without glasses or surgery. But I wasn't ready to give up on my dreams, so I looked into every possible alternative which led me to eye exercises. Through daily vision training and eye exercises, I improved my vision from 20/85 to 20/20 and passed the Navy's visual acuity test. In fact Men's Health declared this one of the "Greatest Comebacks of All Time!" Now, I'm sharing exactly how I did it with the program that helped me so people like you can improve your vision safely and naturally, without glasses, contacts or laser surgery.

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5 comments to My Child’s Eyesight: What You Need to Know
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  1. taki kunjumon #

    even i feel some problem in my eyes but not able to releave it.but else thank you!

  2. Jad #

    I noticed one week ago that I am seeing double and shadows while watching TV only, especially when there are white words with black ground. And when I close one eye, the shadows increases some where but also only on TV. Why I am seeing this ? I thought it is because my studying too much during the exams, but I have relaxed my eyes for week and there is no improvement.

    • Vignesh #

      @Jad
      Even I am facing the same problem actually.
      I think it is due to astigmatic power
      If i close 1 eye the shadow is on the left if i close the other eye shadow is on the right.
      Are you facing the same problem ?

  3. tobiana #

    I understand that you have to please the eyedoctors instuution by warning a.e. being politically correct. But stay faithfull to your belief. Most children dont need glasses if they would be exposed toless stress at school and have access to (guided)eye exercises.
    An example after 3rth grade a villgae school in Holland some 40 years ago half of the class was wearing glasses. Among them was me: a cute little girl and my life and childhood experience ( untill I got contactlenses) were never the same again).
    Last year I got a hold of Orins exercises and from heavy( -7,30) glasses Im wearing light -4 glasses. Thank you…..

  4. Jad #

    Thank you for the information.But I want to know what is my problem in my eyes.I got bored from going to the eye doctor.One month ago I visited the doctor and after the eye exam, he told me that there is nothing in my eyes.

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