One of the most important skills that any child learns while still young is communication. Very young children need to be constantly exposed to the arts of communication so that they will absorb and learn about this skill, and eventually be able to communicate effectively themselves. This is a process that takes a long time, however, and in the meantime, there are many experiences, emotions and feelings that children are unable to express. The inability to see properly is one of them. Knowing when your child needs eyeglasses is very important to ensuring their healthy development, yet it is often difficult for a child to express that something is wrong with their vision, because they simply have no idea that something might be out of the ordinary. This is why it is so important to take your child on regular trips to the vision center to have their eyes examined by an eye specialist.
Research and studies have shown that the development of children in their early years is closely linked to vision, and children who have grown up with impaired vision that remained uncorrected suffer from impaired development as opposed to children with impaired vision who had the problem remedied with prescription eyeglasses.
Another aspect to consider is that of safety. We depend on our vision to keep us safe in almost every aspect of our daily lives – to keep from being run over by cars on the road, to avoid the gap in the sidewalk, to stay away from poisonous creatures – the list is endless. Children are at even greater risk because there are many dangers that, even if they are able to see, they are not able to recognize as being dangerous. Impaired vision raises the level of risk even higher than they already are.
While you might not be trained to diagnose any problem your child might have with their eyes, there are certainly some telltale signs that you can watch out for that will signal that it is time for a visit to the eye doctor.
The first and most obvious sign is squinting. People whose vision is impaired will squint to narrow their eyes, reducing the amount of light entering the eye and thereby improving the image somewhat. Many children whose vision becomes impaired will squint without even knowing that they are doing so. To them, they are simply compensating for what has suddenly occurred to them, not knowing that this is unnatural.
Another sign that should be fairly obvious is covering one eye while watching television or reading. This is a sign that a child’s vision has been impaired in only one eye, and they are blocking out the affected eye so that it does not interfere with their vision. This is dangerous because it can lead to the development of Amblyopia, where the eye suffering from impaired vision falls into disuse and vision in that eye becomes permanently impaired.
Finally, tearing or constant rubbing of the eyes could be a sign of dry eyes, conjunctivitis, chronic fatigue in the eyes, or a host of other possible problems.
All of these signs are indicative of the need to bring your child to the vision center as soon as possible, and many of these problems can be corrected simply be having an appropriate pair of eyeglasses made for them. Even if your child does not exhibit any of these telltale signs, it is still important to have them undergo a regular eye examination, if only for the peace of mind that will bring that your child’s vision is unimpaired.