Would You Know If Your Child Had Trouble Seeing?

Picking up new supplies and buying back-to-school outfits aren’t the only kinds of tasks you should be doing this month—now is also a good time to check on your child’s vision. After all, how are they going to learn if they can’t read the textbook or see what’s written on the chalkboard? The problem is, your child may not always tell you they have a hard time seeing things. Since it’s best to catch any problems early, be on the lookout for any of these signs your child might have vision issues:

  • Rubbing their eyes
  • Squinting, tilting or turning head to look at objects
  • Wandering or crossed eyes
  • Poor depth perception
  • Uncontrollably blinking, twitching, or squeezing eyes shut
  • Saying things like: “My eyes are itchy or feel scratchy,” “I have a headache” or “I feel sick/nauseous” after doing close-up work, “Everything looks blurry,” or “I see double.”

If your child displays any of these symptoms or if you know your family has a history of vision problems, schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist or optometrist to have their eyes checked. It’s important to note that your vision coverage is separate from your medical coverage. You should check your vision coverage before you schedule an appointment to find a doctor in your plan’s network.

There are also plenty of ways to take proactive care of your child’s eye health:

  1. Schedule regular eye exams: Your child’s vision is subject to change as they grow older. In order to stay ahead of any potential eye issues, they should visit the eye doctor before first grade and every one to two years after (or more often if the doctor recommends it). Make sure you follow your doctor’s recommendation if they prescribe corrective lenses, patches, medications or eye exercises.
  2. Get them to wear protective gear: The sun can affect eye health and extended exposure has been linked to eye damage like cataracts and macular degeneration. Protecting eyes can be as simple as having your kid wear sunglasses with UV-filtering lenses. Besides that, make sure your child has the proper protective eyewear if they are playing sports or doing other activities that could cause damage to the eyes.
  3. Encourage an overall healthy lifestyle: You can keep your kid’s eyes healthy by filling their plates with foods rich in vitamin A, C and E. Good foods include a variety of orange and yellow produce, salmon, almonds and strawberries. By encouraging your child to eat right and exercise, you can help them avoid being at high risk for diabetes and other conditions that can lead to vision problems as they get older.
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