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    Vision Problems   

Vision Acuity

About 20 percent of school children are either near-sighted or far-sighted. These problems typically occur between the age of 6 and adolescence.

Children may complain that they can not read the chalkboard at school or you may notice that they sit close to the television. Sometimes the child may say that words look blurry.

Children with these problems need to have an exam by an eye doctor. These problems can often be corrected with eyeglasses.

Other Vision Problems

Glasses can not correct every vision problem. Below is a list of other types of vision problems that children can have. In children with these problems, the eye itself may be fine, but the brain and the eye may not be working well together. Just as children need to learn hand-eye coordination to catch a ball, their eyes and brain need to learn to work together to properly visualize and understand words and numbers.

These problems may not be obvious by looking at the child's eye. An eye exam is needed to determine if they have a vision problems. Eyeglasses do not correct the problem.

  • Accommodation disorder - inability to focus for clarity with changes in position, distance or posture; child has trouble copying from chalkboard to paper
  • Ambliopia - poor vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight during early childhood, sometimes called "lazy eye."
  • Binocular dysfunction - inability of both eyes to act as a team; vision is blurred
  • Directionality disorder - lack of understanding an object's position in space in relationship to ourselves; may lead to letter or number reversals.
  • Eye tracking disorder - the inability of the eyes to look at and accurately follow an object; results in skipped letters, words or lines when reading
  • Strabismus - eyes are misaligned or crossed; can lead to vision loss

What a Child Sees

The following sites show examples of what children may see if they have a vision problem.

Symptoms of Vision Problems

These types of problems may not be noticed by just looking at the eyes. It is the child's behavior that may suggest that he has a vision problem.

If a child has any of the following symptoms, he should have an eye exam by an eye doctor that specializes in children's vision.

  • Rubs eyes
  • Holds books close to face
  • Complains of eyestrain or headaches
  • Omits, inserts or rereads letters/word
  • Jerky eye movements
  • Has difficulty with spelling
  • One eye turns in or out
  • Poor chalkboard to desk copying
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Gets tired quickly when reading
  • Loses place often while reading
  • Fails to complete work on time
  • Skips lines and words often
  • Avoids reading or tasks requiring close work
  • Uses a finger as a place mark while reading
  • Easily distracted
  • Holds head at an angle while reading
  • Poor sports performance

Click for More Info!

For more information about vision problems, check out:

American Academy of Pediatrics at

American Optometric Association at

Children's Vision Information Network at

Vision Council of American at

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12