This week’s blog on Signs that your child has a vision problem has been contributed by Dr. Namir Kafil-Hussain, Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Specialist in Children’s Eye Diseases, Strabismus and Paediatric Cataract Surgery
Good vision is crucial to a child’s education, development, future career and self-esteem and confidence. 80% of children’s learning happens visually and according to the American Optometric Association, 1 in 5 children has a vision problem that affects their ability to learn.
Learning disabilities that are associated with vision problems include:
- spoken language – delays in speech development and speech disorders.
- written language – ability to read, write, spell.
- mathematics – the ability to reason.
Most of the visual disorders that affect early-age children’s learning can be treated successfully when detected and diagnosed in the early stages of childhood, especially between the age of 2 and 5, and up to the age of 7.
Parents, teachers and paediatricians should focus on the early detection and identification of the signs that a child might have a visual problem. These early signs include:
- holding a book close to face to be able to read
- covering one eye to focus more clearly
- tilting the head to see more clearly
- seeing double images
- rubbing the eye or blinking a lot
- an eye that turns in or out
- regular headaches
- struggling with hand writing
- avoiding reading
- poor performance in school
- short attention span
- difficulty in remembering things
- emotional and developmental immaturity
- high levels of frustration and irritability
If the child displays or complains about any of these symptoms, please take your child to a paediatric ophthalmologist (children’s eye doctor) for an assessment and appropriate treatment.