Signs That Your Child Needs Glasses – Let’s Start Count Them.

Signs That Your Child Needs Glasses.

Helping your kids excel at school starts largely with their eyes: 80 percent of learning is accomplished through those peepers, so making sure they’re in good shape is crucial. Yet one-quarter of kids in school have vision problems, and as many as one-third haven’t had an eye examination by the time they start school.

Making matters more complicated is the fact that if your kid does have vision problems, he may not be aware of it. Instead, he sits there struggling to read what’s on the chalkboard, and his grades start to plummet. Meanwhile, you’re scratching your head wondering what’s up when the answer could be staring you in the face! Here are some surprising signs that your child may need glasses.

(1) Notice if your child sits too closely to the television.

If your child seems to inspect things too closely, this might be a sign they need glasses. Your child may sit too close to the television or hold items up in front of their face in order to see them more clearly.

Lowering their head while reading (in order to get closer to the words on the page) is also a sign that your child may need glasses.

(2) See if your child squints.

Squinting is much like looking through a pinhole. Peeking through a small opening reduces the size of the blurred image on the back of the retina. This temporarily improves vision and could be a sign of your child compensating for poor vision.

(3) Take note if your child complains of frequent headaches.

When people have to squint a lot because they aren’t wearing glasses, this inevitably leads to frequent headaches. If your child is complaining of chronic headaches in the frontal region near their brow, this could be a sign of vision problems.

Constant headache pain can lead to stress and anxiety, so you’ll need to determine the underlying cause quickly.

(4) Head tilting.

Isn’t it cute how your darling cocks his head to the side while watching Octonauts? Perhaps, but it may also be your child’s unconscious attempt to adjust an angle and find a clearer picture, which often happens when the vision in one eye is significantly worse than in the other. Your child might also close or cover one eye, warns Marc Weinstein, an optometrist, and co-founder of

(5) Frequent Eye Rubbing.

Although children tend to rub their eyes when they’re tired or upset, there’s a difference between occasional eye rubbing and incessant rubbing whenever he or she is trying to concentrate. Incessant rubbing of the eyes is a tell-tale sign of eye fatigue. If your child’s eyes seem overly fatigued and you’re sure they’re getting enough rest, their eyes could be tired from working too hard to focus. Squinting is also something to look out for; it’s a classic sign of a vision problem, as squinting is used to decrease blur and focus on images.

(6) Receiving Lower Grades than Usual.

If your child has always been an exemplary student and suddenly struggles in school, it could be a sign that they’re having a hard time seeing what the teacher writes on the board. In most cases, children will be too shy or scared to tell a parent or teacher about their vision problems, resulting in them falling behind in school. While some teachers and schools are quick to blame behavioral conditions, such as ADHD, for poor performance in school, glasses or contact lenses could be the solution to your child’s poor performance in the classroom.

(7) Notice if your child’s eyes water excessively.

Excessive tearing can be a sign of extraordinary strain on the muscles in the eyes. This can often be caused by undiagnosed vision problems. If your child seems to have watery eyes more than usual, then they may need glasses.

Additionally, if your child complains of having dry eyes frequently, this could be a sign of vision problems.

(8) Discuss your child’s vision with them.

Ask your child to describe the look of something. If they clearly describe it inaccurately (for example, they say that brown hair is black, blond hair is white, that something big is small, and so on), then they may have color blindness and/or blurry vision. Your child will probably need glasses for both diagnoses.

(9) Struggling to read.

If your child isn’t reading on par with his peers, his peepers rather than his reading skills may be the culprit. Some dead giveaways: He loses his place while reading, skips lines or words, uses his finger to follow words or confuses similar-looking letters, like G and O, or V and Y.

(10) Visit an optometrist.

Once you have established your belief that your child needs glasses, the next step is to take them to the optometrist so they can have an official eye exam and get fitted for glasses.

It will probably take a couple weeks after your appointment for your child’s glasses to be ready for pick up.

What we learned so far: If you suspect vision problems or your child hasn’t had a vision test, get him one already! These exams should be conducted once every two years, or once every year if the child has known problems.

How did you realize your child needed glasses? – Please share with us.


  • Carolyn

    These signs your are describing ring a bell in the back of my head…

    My 2 yrs old often sits too close to the TV, rubs eyes and squints… At this age, it’s a bit difficult to discuss this matter with them. I guess it’s hard to tell when they’re not yet in school.

    Are there any tests for young toddlers I could try ? I will refer to your list in the future and see if there is any change.

    Thanks for any advice

  • I recognize some of these signs with my cousin’s kids.
    And sometimes its difficult to talk to the parents and the kids about it.
    One factor that is not mention in addition to the TV that cause vision problems is the use of tablets by toddlers. Today there are lots of books and games for small children on tablets. I know of parents that use this as a learning method but at the same time it could also be addicting for the child (if the parent doesn’t control the use of it). And this could cause vision problems.

  • This was me at 5 years old. I had almost all the symptoms you talked about. My mom Talked to me pretty much just as you described. Finally got in to the eye doctor and got some glasses.

    Great advice

  • neil manning


    My daughter always sits right up close to the T.V but I never thought it could be because she can’t see it properly!
    I will have to take her to the opticians and get her eyes tested, do you know whether children’s eyesight ever gets better? Or is it just glasses for life once diagnosed?


  • This is good and helpful advice. Since children are mostly unaware of the problem or at least for some reason unable to communicate it, parents should be aware of the signs that there is a problem, so that they can take measures to correct it.

  • Really good advice here. It is so important to watch closely for any deficits, since it’s all just normal to them when they don’t know any differently. Great article!

  • Daniela

    This was very helpful advice! I know when I was growing up, I always use to sit very close to the T.V. (Probably inches away) and my mother always told me that that’s what would cause my vision to go bad… but little did she know that I was sitting so close BECAUSE my vision was ALREADY bad! I am nearsighted, and this insight has definitely opened my mind up to some warning signs that may be occurring for the children in my life. Thank you for the well thought out content.


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