School-age child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. For school-age children, several different visual skills must work together so they can see and understand clearly. If any of these visual skills are lacking or impaired, your child will need to work harder and may develop headaches or fatigue. Often the increased visual demands of schoolwork can make greater demands on a child’s visual skills, pointing out a vision problem that was not apparent before school. The child may not realize they have a vision problem they may simply assume everyone sees the way they do.
A vision-related problem may cause some of the symptoms described below:
- headaches or irritability
- avoidance of near or distance work
- covering or rubbing of the eyes
- tilting of the head or unusual posture
- using a finger to maintain place while reading
- losing place while reading
- omitting or confusing words when reading
- performing below their potential
Conditions that may emerge during this stage in your child’s life include myopia or nearsightedness (blurred vision when seeing objects at a distance), hyperopia or farsightedness (blurred vision when seeing objects up close) and astigmatism (distorted vision at all distances).
Protect your child’s vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, book an eye exam with a doctor of optometry. Your child should have a complete optometric eye exam at six months, before starting kindergarten, and annually throughout the school years to ensure optimal eye health and developmental progress.