Signs that your child has a vision problem

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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.