It is not always easy to notice that your child may have problems with their eyes but there a few things to look out for that could be a sign. Almost 80% of what is learned as children is through visuals, so if they cannot see them clearly, that could hamper their progress at school.

Squinting can be a sign of myopia and they may need glasses to help correct it. They will squint without even thinking about it, as they will find it does help them to see something clearer.


If you notice that they hold a book very close, or have to sit too close to the TV, this is a clear indication that there is something wrong with their eye health and you should get their eyes checked out. The same applies if they keep losing their place while they are reading, or they have to use their finger to be able to stay where they should be in the print.

Physical Problems
Problems with the eyes can cause other physical problems such as headaches, nausea and dizziness. They eye can become irritated as well so they could be constantly rubbing them, A visit to the doctor is needed if this is happening.

Under Performing
If you know your child is very capable of doing things in their head, but when it comes to putting pen to paper they underperform, you need to ask yourself if that is because they cannot see clearly what they are meant to be doing? If this is the case, you should get their eyes tested in case the need glasses to help them.\

Getting Their Eyes Checked Out
The first thing to understand is that is a difference between vision screening carried out by a pediatrician and a vision examination carried out by an optometrist. Vision screening is a limited process that cannot be used to diagnose short or long sightedness but is looking more for physical problems with the eyes. If they do think there is a vision problem, they will refer the child to an optometrist for further evaluation. However, it is estimated that possibly as many as 60% of vision problems are missed with vision screening.

A vision examination carried out by an optometrist will look for physical eye problems and will also diagnose any vision problems. It could be they need glasses, or some sort of corrective treatment if they have a lazy eye, for example.

With today’s technology,  children do not have to be able to read or know the alphabet to have these tests,  and all children should have  their eyes checked between the ages of 3 and 5.

It is best to make the appointment early in the day when the child is not tired. Allow about an hour for the tests. Before you take them, explain what will happen and assure them there is nothing painful or to be frightened off. At 6 years of age, they should have the test repeated so that the 2 sets of results can be compared to ensure their eye development is as it should be.