There is no better time to take a look at your child’s vision than right now!
Eye exams are an important part of this process. Did you know that your child’s vision matures between age 9 and 11? You can see why it is important that they receive early eye exams!
The sooner you find the vision problems the better chance you will have of correcting them.
Children can’t always tell you if there is something wrong with their eyes. They accept how they see things as normal.
Quite often children with vision problems are simply labeled as having learning disabilities. While unfair, this is a common problem found over and over again in schools. Classes are often over crowded making it difficult for teachers to spend as much time as needed to find all the problems that may be affecting students ability to learn. This is one reason why it is very important for young children to get an eye exam before starting school.
When you are having problems seeing correctly it is very difficult to learn.
What Can You Do to Help?
Parents know their children better than their teachers do, so there is a good chance that you may notice signs of vision problems that their new teachers may not catch. There are many signs that your child may be experiencing vision problems:
- Following along with a finger while reading
- Losing their place while reading
- Squinting while reading or watching television
- Tilting their head to get a better view
- Sitting too close to the TV
- Sensitivity to light
- Rubbing their eyes a lot
- Watery eyes
- Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
- Their grades have dropped
- Complaining that their eyes hurt when using the computer
- Avoiding sports or activities which require near or distance vision
Common childhood vision problems include hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), and astigmatism (blurriness of vision).
Other Common Childhood Vision Problems: Strabismus (crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye)
Strabismus is diagnosed when the eyes fail to align simultaneously; this result in one or both eyes turning out, up, in, or down. This eye problem can be either inherited or the result of injury to the eye muscles or nerves.
Strabismus is not something that your child will outgrow. See an eye doctor immediately if you notice this problem. Treatment may include eye drops, eye exercises, glasses, or surgery.
Amblyopia results when one eye has dimmer or less focused sight than the other. There is no apparent difference in the structure of the eyes to cause this. Treatment for this may include glasses, eye patches, or eye drops.
The danger with these conditions is that, if left untreated, one eye may become useless. The goal in treatment is to increase the strength of the weaker eye so that the strong eye does not compensate for it.
So get your kids eyes checked early to start building better vision for a better future for your child.
Is There Anything You Can Do To Improve Your Child’s Vision?
One very important thing that you can do to help your child’s eye health, is to ensure that they eat a diet high in eye healthy vitamins and minerals. The younger you start your child eating vegetables and dark leafy greens the better. If children grow up with these foods they are less likely to rebel against eating their vegetables. It is more difficult to switch your child over to an eye healthy diet, if your child is not used to eating these healthy foods to begin with.
As soon as your child is able to eat normal foods, try giving them vegetables to snack on instead of crackers or chips. You will probably want to start with cooked vegetables that they can hold in their fingers like carrots or green beans. As they get older and have more teeth and learn to chew harder foods you can easily switch them over to raw vegetables as snacks. These are very easy to prepare ahead of time and have in the fridge so that your child can get their own snacks if necessary.
Talk to your doctor about a good multivitamin for children. Get them used to taking a vitamin every morning with their breakfast. This helps to ensure that they will get all the vitamins and minerals that may be missing from their daily diet. Schools have become more aware of the need to provide healthy foods for their lunch programs, but if your child refuses to eat the vegetables supplied there is not much the schools can do about it. Early training in good eating habits is an important step that you can take to ensure your child’s health.
As a bonus, a healthy diet not only strengthens your child’s vision, it can also help to build a strong and healthy body. Avoiding saturated fats, fast foods, and prepared foods can make a big difference in your child’s health. This doesn’t mean that you should never allow your child to eat these foods, just make sure that they are limited. Save them for special treats like passing a difficult test in school or a birthday.
Your child may not appreciate it now, but when their vision improves and they are healthy they will thank you.