An estimated 25% of children have an underlying vision problem that goes undiagnosed. Approximately six children in a classroom are likely to be struggling because of an underlying vision problem.

Why is it important to talk to your child if you suspect they have a vision problem?

If you suspect that your child may have a vision problem, one of the most helpful things you can do as a parent is to speak to them about the things that they may be experiencing and struggling with. A few years ago, Dr. McBryar gave a lecture at a school, and one of the teachers who attended went home and talked to her family about the lecture and double vision. Her son told her that sometimes he doesn't know which football to catch, which indicates that he had double vision and was seeing two footballs at once on the field. He had just assumed the rest of the world saw things the same way as him, unaware that there was a problem. This is why Dr. McBryar recommends communicating with your kids first and understanding what symptoms to look out for.

It is also a good idea to speak with the teachers as well since they are in a unique position to observe your children doing different things during the day that involve vision, which you may not see at home.

Checklist of visual problems

Answers to the following questions will provide you with a valuable insight into how your child perceives, understands, and processes the world around them. This checklist can help determine what's really happening, because being able to function well at home and at school is the key to future success in any environment.

Many of the following reading tasks indicate nearsightedness or overall vision problems.

If your child seems to:

  • Rub their eyes after reading or working with something up close
  • Tilt their head or lean in when reading or writing
  • Get tired easily
  • Use a pointer or finger to keep their place
  • Holds material too close to their eyes
  • Close one eye or squint
  • Read below grade level
  • Read the same line over and over in order to understand it
  • Avoid doing projects or homework
  • Frequently lose the place when reading
  • Bump into things and break them
  • Feel as though the words are moving or dancing across the page

Vision problems are frequently associated with the following behaviors.

Have you noticed if your child:

  • Frequently tilts their head to either side or consistently has one shoulder raised higher than the other
  • Often bumps into things or has “butterfingers”
  • Blinks or squints excessively
  • Reads with one eye closed or nearly closed
  • Repositions their head while reading, playing, or participating in athletics
  • Has one eye that moves differently or out of sync with the other
  • Finds it difficult to gauge distance between objects when walking through any space
  • Demonstrates poor hand-eye coordination
  • Often misplaces or loses things

What you should do with the completed checklist

Once you get their input, you can use that to complete a symptom checklist. The next step is to take that checklist to one of our developmental optometrists in Chattanooga, TN, who can help review the checklist and conduct a pediatric eye exam or an in depth developmental vision evaluation to determine if your child has a vision problem that could benefit from a vision therapy program.

Receive the best care by visiting us for a pediatric eye exam at our leading optometry clinic in Hixson, attracting patients from Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley. Call (423) 321-8233 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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