It’s not always easy for kids to tell us when they’re having vision problems as they probably don’t know it themselves. But there are some signs you can look out for.
Kids will be kids and act out sometimes, but it can also be a sign that they’re having trouble with their eyesight. Watch out for outbursts at home or school when they’re reading, writing and watching things – or if they’re generally having trouble with school work. It can be a sign they’re not seeing clearly.
“We suggest every child has their eyes tested before they start school – then probably every two to three years through school – but go sooner if you think there’s a problem,” says Bupa optometrist Karen Makin.
“Skipping over lines while reading, being unable to remember what they’ve just read, reading the same line over or mixing up similar words – like ‘spot’ and ‘stop’ – can all be classic signs of eye problems,” says Makin.
Is your child complaining of headaches? They could be overexerting their eyes to focus. They may also rub their eyes excessively if this is going on. “Having sore eyes or red eyes are also indicators of eye issues,” says Makin.
Do you notice your child squinting when looking at something? It could be that they’re short-sighted. It’s also worth noticing if they tilt their head or cover or close one eye while reading – they may be having trouble focusing on objects.
Does your child complain they can’t see the TV or whiteboard? Do they sit really close to the screen? Or do they hold books far away? These can be signs that it’s time for an eye test.
Having regular eye tests can help identify and solve any vision problems, and they're a great way to get ahead of any underlying issues.
When you first have an eye test, your optometrist will get the lowdown on your eyes, vision, health and lifestyle in order to tailor the test to you.
Worried about the costs of getting your eyes tested? We’ve got good news. They’re usually bulk-billed if you’re covered by Medicare.