Does my kid need glasses?

If your child is showing signs of vision problems, it may be time to schedule an eye exam. Catching problems early will prevent trouble down the road.

Your pediatrician’s office does a vision check during physicals, but that may not be enough to determine whether your child needs glasses. Pediatric ophthalmologist Grace Cinciripini, MD, at Kaiser Permanente’s Bellevue Medical Center, suggests that if your child is having ongoing difficulty with reading, it may be time to schedule a full eye exam.

“Schools and physicians perform an eye screening that can catch major problems,” said Dr. Cinciripini. “If your child is exhibiting symptoms of vision problems, it’s important that you get a complete eye exam.”

Warning signs of vision problems in school-aged kids

Signs that your child may be having vision problems include:

  • Holding reading material too close or sitting very close to the TV
  • Complaining of eye strain or headaches
  • Squinting or covering an eye
  • Rubbing their eyes when they’re not tired

Warning signs of vision problems in preschoolers and toddlers

Younger children, before reading age, might not squint when having vision problems. Signs that a preschooler might need to see an ophthalmologist include:

  • Crossing or outward drifting of an eye
  • Turning their head or tucking their chin when trying to see

“An eye exam is an easy way to address a problem that could significantly impact a child’s success in school,” said Dr. Cinciripini. “Kids have many choices for glasses to fit their personality.”

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