7 Signs Your Child Might Need Glasses

Usually parents learn of their child's vision problems from teachers early in the school year. With the majority of schools transitioning to "at home" or "online" learning, many students with undiagnosed vision problems may go untreated. Now more than ever - parents need to know the signs of poor vision.

The visual system in a child is still developing during the first seven to eight years of life. In some cases, glasses may be necessary to help normal visual development.

Megan Collins, M.D. - Johns Hopkins

Signs your Child Might Need Glasses


School teachers say squinting is the most common symptom of undiagnosed vision problems in students. By squinting their eyes, children are able to temporarily increase focus and clarity of an object near or at a distance. Squinting may be a sign that your child has a refractive error, which affects how well the eyes can focus on an image.

Lazy Eye

Lazy Eye or amblyopia describes decreased vision in one or both eyes without detectable anatomic damage. Amblyopia is not always correctable with eyeglasses or contact lenses and may require eye patching to strengthen the weaker eye.

Head Tilting and Eye Covering

Have you noticed your child covering one eye or tilting their head to adjust the viewing angle? This may indicate your child's eyes are misaligned or that your child has strabismus, a common cause of amblyopia. Amblyopia is also known as lazy eye, which is one of the most common eye disorders in children.

Holding Screens or Books Close to the Eyes

Sitting too close to the computer screen, holding phones or video games too close to the eyes, or lowering the head while reading are all likely signs of poor vision. Children with myopia, or nearsightedness, have clear vision at close range and poorer vision at a distance. Bringing the phone, game, or book closer makes an image bigger and clearer.

Excessive Eye Rubbing

Eye rubbing may indicate that your child is experiencing eye fatigue or strain. This could be a sign of many types of vision problems and conditions, including allergic reactions.

Headaches or Eye Pain

Your child might complain about headaches or eye pain. Usually these frustrations come forth at the end of the day because they may be overexerting the eyes in an effort to increase focus of blurred vision.

Difficulty Concentrating on School Work

Children need to quickly adapt their visual focus on a number of different objects; like phone and computer screen, games, TVs, tablets, and whiteboards all in the same lesson. Vision problems may display themselves as a lack of focus in your children.

What Should I Do If My Child Fails A Vision Screening.

If your child fails a vision screening, the most important thing to do is be seen by an eye care provider for a comprehensive eye exam. The exam assesses visual acuity, (the clarity and sharpness of vision) and may also check for:

  • Strabismus (crossed eyes) and eye alignment
  • Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
  • Depth perception
  • Overall health of the inside and outside of the eye
  • Indications of more serious eye conditions