A new school year is on the horizon and with that can come new challenges in the classroom.
While each child has their own learning pace and educational experience, it’s important to look out for signs that your child may need extra help with their vision as they settle into a new environment.
Signs your child may need glasses
If you suspect that your child is struggling with their vision, be sure to look for these signs and symptoms:
- Increased squinting
- Constantly rubbing of the eyes
- Eye aches or pains
- An increased difficulty concentrating
What do I do if I think my child is showing signs of needing glasses?
Sometimes it can be hard to know if your child needs glasses or if they are simply adjusting to new curriculum or even experiencing anxiety. They may also be having a hard time paying attention in class for reasons unrelated to their eye health.
However, if you suspect that your child is struggling with their vision, it is best to schedule a vision screening or eye exam to know for sure. After the results of a vision screening, go over treatment options with your child’s optometrist if they are needed. The optometrist’s recommendations might differ depending on the extremity of your child’s case, but in most instances, glasses will be a suggested solution.
If your child gets eyeglasses, it is recommended they continue going in for an eye exam once a year to check up on their vision and eye health. Yearly appointments can help doctors determine if their vision is worsening or improving, which could lower or increase the prescription in their lenses.
What is the youngest age for a child to get glasses?
There is no right or wrong age for a child to get glasses.
Children should start getting their vision checked when they are 6 months old. After that, it’s best to proceed with an eye exam every three years. A child can be prescribed glasses when they are as little as toddlers. If the problems with their vision are caught early enough, there’s a chance they won’t need glasses for the rest of their lives.
In general, how can I help my child take care of their eyes?
It’s important not to overlook eye health, especially in children and young adults. When vision is not treated properly in adolescence, it can result in lifelong challenges and eye pain.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to help protect your children’s eyes to prevent them from needing glasses or contact lenses in the future. Of course, nothing is guaranteed. However, these steps will not only improve your child’s eye health but also their general health and well-being.
Ways to take care of your eyes include:
- Wearing sunglasses outside in the summer, or any time that the sun is out and bright. Eyes can become strained and damaged from staring too closely into the sun.
- Taking breaks from screens and other eye-straining technology. If your child is spending a lot of time on the computer playing video games, watching a lot of TV or looking at a phone, their eyes could be suffering as a result from an increased intake of blue light.
- Getting blue light glasses. Blue light glasses protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays that are emitted from screens. They filter out the color and provide a balance to your eyes so that they aren’t working overtime to see properly. Blue light glasses are not prescribed by a doctor and can be purchased at many stores or ordered online. The blue light filter can also be added to an eye prescription.
- Eating a balanced diet consisting of fruits and vegetables.
- Establishing a good sleep routine. Children need anywhere from eight to 13 hours of sleep per day depending on their age. If they get any less than the recommended amount of rest, they can experience restlessness, trouble focusing and damage to their eye health.
Learn more about the ophthalmology and eye health services we offer at Mercy Health.