Watching for Signs that Your Child May Need Glasses

BY SANDRA GUY

Before your child suffers in school or spends too much time in front of a computer screen, be on the alert for signs he or she might be having eyesight problems.

August serves as a reminder, since it’s Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. But it’s particularly tricky now, as parents and school districts figure out how much class time is safe amid the ever-growing coronavirus spread.

It's also timely. Experts worry that children are getting less outdoor playtime while sitting longer in front of computer screens while the coronavirus epidemic rages on. They warn this combination could result in future eyesight problems.

You can start at home by being mindful of your child’s behaviors. Is he or she squinting, covering one eye, rubbing his eyes, sitting close to the TV or computer screen, or having problems concentrating on schoolwork?

If so, you can schedule a visit to the pediatrician or to an ophthalmologist for a vision screening. Problems can range from strengthening vision in one eye to correcting eye position, such as in crossed eyes, to improving depth perception or near- or far-sightedness.

An eye exam checks for vision clarity, proper eye alignment, eye health inside and outside of the eye, and signs of eye conditions that should be corrected quickly, such as a pediatric cataract or droopy eyelids.

Other warning signs include watery eyes, redness that doesn’t go away in a few days, eye fluttering from side to side or up and down or eye pain, itchiness or discomfort.

The good news is that catching a child’s eye problems early means a solution can happen while the child is still developing.

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