9 Signs Your Child Needs An Eye Exam | Complete Eye Care West

9 Signs Your Child Needs An Eye Exam

A child with poor eyesight may struggle socially and in school because of impaired vision. But, they may not know something is wrong.

As a parent, you must pay attention to your child and take note of possible vision symptoms. If your child is squinting, struggling at school, or sitting too close to the tv, they may be due for an eye exam. 

Routine eye care and early detection are vital to ensure your child has a healthy childhood. The sooner they get the accommodations they need, the more opportunities they’ll have.

That’s why you must schedule eye exams for your children at particular times during their development. These times depend on their eye health and if they seem to have symptoms of eye conditions.

Keep reading to learn about common symptoms children have when they need an eye exam. Being aware of these symptoms will help you know when to schedule their next appointment at the eye doctor!

Symptoms of Poor Vision in Children

It can be challenging to tell if something is wrong with your child, especially if something is wrong with their eyesight. If they have had vision problems for their entire life, they may not know that anything is wrong with their eyes.

They could have trouble seeing for years and have no idea that their eyesight could be better. If that is the case, they won’t communicate their problem because they don’t know they have one.

However, kids often adapt to poor vision in similar ways, making it easy to recognize the symptoms. Here are nine signs that your child needs an eye exam.


Squinting is an obvious vision symptom in people of any age. If your child squints when looking at things up close, they might have farsightedness.

fred armisen lol GIF by IFC

Likewise, a child who squints when looking at things from afar may have nearsightedness. Both conditions are normal in kids and are treatable.

Short Attention Span

A short attention span could be a sign of a learning disability or just a kid being a kid. But a nearsighted child may lose focus on distant people, screens, or boards because they cannot see them.

Then they might focus on nearby things they can see, making them appear easily distracted. If it seems like they distract easily when looking at things at a certain distance away, it could mean a problem with their eyes.

Holding Things Close To Their face

If your child has nearsightedness, they might hold papers, books, or screens closer to their face to see them. Another example of this is a child who sits too close to the television, even after telling them to move farther away. 

Difficulty In School

Kid with glasses

Bad behavior and low grades can stem from several problems. But you should rule out poor vision before jumping to any other conclusions.

Many children receive poor marks because they can’t visually engage with the material. Confusion, frustration, or boredom may cause them to act out then as they feel left out and left behind. 

Avoiding Physical Activities

Poor distance vision and depth perception can lead to hand-eye coordination problems. These problems can cause a child to appear clumsy and unathletic.

Notice if your child has stopped participating in games and sports in favor of screen-time, books, and drawing. They might be avoiding physical activities due to poor vision, not laziness.

Frequent Eye-Rubbing

Is This For Real Good Burger GIF

A child that rubs their eyes and complains about headaches and fatigue is likely suffering from eye strain. Once they get a proper vision-correcting prescription, these symptoms should go away. 

Covering One Eye

Your child might cover or close one eye to focus with the other. This is a clear sign of poor vision.

It is not uncommon for vision in one eye to be worse than the other. Children adapt to this situation by turning off the faulty eye with their hands to see clearly. 

Difficulty Finding Small Objects

If your child often loses small objects like beads, dice, and other toys on the floor, it could be because they cannot see them while standing up. If there is carpet on the floor, these toys might go undiscovered for weeks.

Crossed Or Lazy Eyes

Certain conditions like strabismus (crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye) require early intervention. Otherwise, a child may suffer permanent vision damage.

If you notice misalignment or crossing in your child’s eyes, take them in for an exam. These problems need treatment as early as possible to prevent long-term issues.

How Regular Eye Exams Can Help 

Your child is constantly growing, which means their eyes and body are continually changing. While their eyesight might seem fine one year, they may need glasses by the next.

Some elementary schools give vision screenings to their students. But these should not replace an annual visit to a professional. 

Two girls with glasses

When you take your child to an ophthalmologist, they’re doing more than a surface examination. They check vision, eye position, focusing ability, and general health of the eyes.

Professional eye doctors have the training to deal with all eye problems, including: 

  • Refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism 
  • Misaligned eyes
  • Underdeveloped vision
  • Pediatric glaucoma
  • Inflammation or infection of the eye 

Pediatric ophthalmologists also have experience working with kids. They know how to handle antsy, anxious, or uncooperative children during an eye exam. 

Even if your child isn’t experiencing poor vision, routine check-ups establish a patient history. If they have vision problems in the future, their file can provide background information to determine the cause of the problem. 

Is your child struggling in school? Have you noticed symptoms of poor vision?

Or maybe they need a check-up before the school year begins again. Schedule an appointment at Complete Eyecare West in Columbus, OH. Make sure your child has healthy eyes throughout their developing years!

Request Appointment
Patient Information
Contact Us
Order Contact Lenses
(614) 878-1571