We’ve heard it before; an undetected vision or eye health problem can affect a child’s academic performance. However, you might not have heard it can also affect a child’s behaviour and social skills.
In fact, poor vision can lead to reduced social interaction because of the inability to see properly.
A child may shy away or be excluded from playing team sports since their vision problem is affecting their hand-eye coordination. They may also avoid watching the latest 3D movie with their friends because they have reduced depth perception and can’t enjoy the movie the way their friends can.
Along with social interactions, an undetected vision problem can affect a child’s behaviour in the classroom.
A child who is hyperopic (farsighted) may have problems reading and focusing on their textbooks. If their hyperopia continues to go undiagnosed, they may try avoiding their work and in the process become disruptive out of frustration. Often children are labelled as a problem child when in fact their behaviour stems form an undiagnosed vision problem.
Most of these kids don’t complain about their vision because they either are too young to articulate their vision problem or believe everyone sees like them.
On the other hand, a child who is myopic (nearsighted) may be more introverted until the vision problem gets corrected. At distance, this child will be blurry, however, reading and computer work will be clearer while maybe sports will be more difficult.
That is why a comprehensive eye exam is critical to a child’s overall development. Eye exams conducted by an optometrist can detect, diagnose and treat eye conditions that may be the root cause of a child’s behaviour or reclusive tendencies.
At Village Creek Optometry, we recommend that every child has an eye exam prior to entering school and yearly thereafter.
A child’s eye health status can change yearly, so parents and guardians have to make sure that children go on a yearly basis once they start school. Even if they are fine one year, with growth, their prescription can change as well as the status of their binocular vision – how the two eyes work together.
An undetected vision or eye health problem may be holding your child back socially and interfering with their behaviour. An optometrist can help remove the vision-related barriers that may be hindering your child from living a full and enriched life.