Poor eyesight can cause anybody lots of difficulty when trying to perform daily tasks at a high level. Thanks to contact lenses, eyeglasses, and refractive surgery, it’s possible to correct vision impairments, which allows individuals to work for a living more effectively, care for others, and even care for ourselves.
While poor vision affects more adults than children, it’s been estimated that over 10 million children in the United States alone have uncorrected vision problems. The worst part about uncorrected vision problems in children, is that poor vision can prevent learning, and can even hurt your child’s ability to perform daily tasks such as tying their shoes. While most adults have learned to deal with their vision problems, children are often more shy about owning up to their lack of vision for many logical reasons.
See our list below for reasons why your child *may* be hiding an eyesight problem from you and your family.
- Children Don’t Want To Wear Eyeglasses: The dreaded “foureyes” nickname has been around since forever, and many children would rather have poor vision than risk getting made fun of for wearing glasses. See our article about children’s contact lenses, to learn why kids may benefit from contacts instead of glasses.
- Kids Don’t Always Know Their Vision Is Poor: This may seem silly to an adult, but children aren’t always aware that their eyesight is subpar, since most kids with vision problems were born with poor eyesight. Because of this, they lack anything to compare their poor eyesight to, and assume they have the same vision as all other people.
- Children May Be Afraid Of The Doctor: While most children do not have a fear of doctors, some dread going in for any type of medical exam, mostly due to their fear of booster shots. If you know your child is afraid of doctors, make sure you tell them that eye examinations are different, and don’t involve any shots or discomfort.
There are many other reasonable explanations why your child may be hiding a vision impairment from their parents, which makes it important to take your child in to get their eyes examined when they’re starting school, and at regular intervals as they grow older. Most importantly, they should understand that there is nothing to be afraid of when getting their eyesight inspected.
How Poor Vision Affects School Performance
For many parents, they’re sure their child is highly intelligent, but they can’t figure out why their grades constantly suffer. It’s not uncommon for children with sub-par vision to struggle in school due to difficulty in reading and arithmetic.
If children struggle with reading for a long enough time, they can fall permanently behind their peers, resulting in frustration, wasted potential, and other non academic problems. Several studies have been made that suggest a strong correlation between uncorrected vision problems and juvenile delinquency, which shows just how important having clear vision can be.
Common symptoms of poor vision are distracted behavior not related to Attention Deficit Disorder, aversion to reading and writing, squinting to see the television, moving close to a screen to see an image, and poor grades not related to intelligence.
How to Get Your Child To Wear Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses
Getting children to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses can be a difficult proposition for many reasons already mentioned. Many children may try to wear glasses, but find them uncomfortable and uncool. For these children, wearing contact lenses may be a better idea, as they offer accurate vision correction without the drawback of wearing cumbersome glasses all day long. While contact lenses require a higher amount of care, wearing contacts can teach a child responsibility, and many kids these days successfully wear contacts from a very young age.
For children who are on the fence regarding wearing eyeglasses, they may find many glasses are fashionable or fun these days. Older children are increasingly cognizant of adult fashion trends, and may find children’s designer frames to be both fashionable and functional for daily wear. Younger children may find sports, or movie-themed eyeglasses to be a fun way to show off their personality while also correcting their vision.
For more information about choosing eyeglasses for kids, see our guide on how to find the right children’s eyeglasses. As is true for adults, it’s important to consult an eye doctor to determine the best choice for you and your child.
The most important step however, is being aware that children aren’t always forthcoming in admitting eye problems, and scheduling regular exams can help your child reach their full potential, even if their vision isn’t perfect. Don’t let your child’s vision problems go uncorrected!