Signs of Possible Eye Problems in Children

Children can tell us when they feel sick or have a headache, but when it comes to their sight, they are much less likely to speak up. The main reason for this is that they are usually completely unaware of the issue. For example, you can’t expect your child to tell you that the words or pictures are blurry since that’s how they have always been for them.

Therefore, it’s crucial that parents observe their children closely and get well-informed on how to recognise possible eye problems. Having this in mind, we’ve decided to help you out and prepared a list of the most common signs of eye problems that children have.

Physical symptoms

Certain vision problems are followed by some physical symptoms that can be easily spotted just by looking at your child’s eyes. For example, if you notice that their eyes are misaligned, that their pupils are cloudy or even that some redness doesn’t seem to go away, you should immediately contact an ophthalmologist and book a comprehensive eye exam. Additionally, you should know that the most usual eye issues include amblyopia, strabismus, nearsightedness and farsightedness.

However, unless you have a degree in medicine, don’t try to diagnose the issue by yourself and even if you’ve already found all the symptoms online followed by a recommended cure, this doesn’t mean that you should rely on it without contacting a specialist. Finally, don’t forget that the majority of vision problems that children have can be easily corrected if they’re discovered at an early stage and if the treatment is right.

Hardly explicable behaviour changes

Aside from paying close attention to possible physical symptoms, you should monitor your child’s behaviour as well. In case you notice some changes, don’t give up until you find a reasonable explanation for them. For example, if your child starts sitting too close in front of the TV although they never used to do that before, it’s highly likely that they can’t see that well anymore.

Or, if it starts happening often that the child comes home without anything written in their notebooks, you should try to talk to them and discover whether the problem is just their laziness or they simply can’t see the board clearly enough to copy from it.

However, don’t forget that young children can’t be completely trusted, so unless you’re 100% sure that everything is fine, make sure to schedule a children’s eye test as soon as possible and thus make your child’s life much easier.

Frequent eye rubbing

It’s not unusual for children to blink and rub their eyes when they feel something might have fallen into them. However, if this is happening too frequently, they may be suffering from a vision problem as well. On top of that, if frequent rubbing is followed by chronic tearing and redness, your child should be checked for infections immediately since these can often occur when children touch their eyes without washing their hands beforehand.

They tilt their head to the side

Another commonly detected eye issue among young children is astigmatism. However, there are several symptoms that can help you discover it in time. For example, the majority of children with astigmatism experience strong headaches and they tend to tilt their head to the side every time when they are looking at something in front of them. Additionally, these children can be often seen squinting and closing one eye when they are trying to read something.

So, if you notice these symptoms, contact an ophthalmologist immediately. However, keep in mind that all the mentioned symptoms can be related to some other issues as well, so stay calm and don’t make any presumptions until you’ve spoken with the doctor.

Being irritated by and avoiding close-up visual work

Finally, if you notice that your child becomes very irritated every time you ask them to read something or avoid doing it at all, this can mean that they have a vision problem that prevents them from performing this task easily. Therefore, we advise you to talk to their teachers as well and check whether your child reacts the same way during classes.

Lastly, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be too pushy and make them do something they don’t want to since this can additionally discourage them from giving their best. After all, it’s not that they don’t want to listen to your instructions, it’s just that they are not able to carry them out. So, don’t waste a second before you schedule an appointment with your family doctor.

As you can see, there are various symptoms that can help you discover a possible eye problem that your child may have. You should just make sure to pay a lot of attention to their behavior and not take some changes and suspicious actions lightly. Finally, don’t forget that you’re not a doctor (unless you are one) and contact an ophthalmologist as soon as possible in case you notice a potential problem.


This was contributed by Luke Douglas.

Photo credits: Pexels


Cotton On (AU)

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