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Uncommon Signs Your Child May Need an Eye Exam

Children don’t often question their vision, as they assume everyone sees the way they do. Fortunately, schools and daycare centers often provide vision screenings that can detect some fundamental vision problems. But are those screenings enough?

What is the difference between a vision screening and a comprehensive eye exam?

Vision screenings given at school are useful tools to identify certain vision problems that a child might have. However, vision screenings are not a substitute for an eye exam, which is much more in-depth. A child’s comprehensive eye exam is an expert assessment of their eye health and vision performed by a pediatric optometrist (OD) or pediatric ophthalmologist (MD). It’s important to have an eye exam early on to ensure there aren’t any undetected vision issues that could interfere with school performance or your child’s safety.

What are some signs that my child may be struggling with their vision?

Vision plays an important role in the success of a child in school, both in the sports realm and in academics. Minor changes in a child’s vision can greatly impact their performance. Trouble seeing the board is a very common sign that your child may need an eye exam, but what about the more uncommon signs?

Here are some uncommon signs children may need an eye exam:


  • Complaints of headaches
  • Experiencing eye fatigue after reading
  • Poor sports performance
  • Squinting or closing one eye
  • Blinking or rubbing of the eyes
  • Poor reading ability and comprehension
  • Poor school performance
  • Holding electronic devices or books too close to the eyes
  • Losing their place while reading

A comprehensive eye exam is needed to diagnose impairments or conditions and correctly provide treatment. Visiting a doctor’s office can be an anxious experience for children and parents. An important aspect of any patient-doctor relationship is communication. Preparing your questions can ease anxious feelings and help you best manage your child’s vision health.

Here are six questions to ask during your child’s eye exam:

  1. What tests will be performed today?
  2. What activities and lifestyle changes can you suggest to help manage my child’s condition or keep their eyes healthy as they grow?
  3. Is my child showing symptoms of eye problems?
  4. How do I identify symptoms that my child is experiencing?
  5. Does my child need eyeglasses to correct their vision?
  6. How often do you recommend we return for a comprehensive eye exam?

At Northwest Eye, we specialize in pediatric eye care and pride ourselves in ‘kid speak,’ along with educating parents. We know kids, understand how they communicate and have learned how to put them at ease. Most importantly, we recognize the unique differences between developing and adult eyes.

With pediatric clinics in Maple Grove, Minnetonka, and Woodbury, we offer expert pediatric eye care to kiddos across the Twin Cities. We are also excited to welcome another superb doctor to our team of pediatric specialists: Dr. Catherine Origlieri.


VIP Frame Discount

Northwest Eye offers SportsEngine customers a VIP Frame Discount. Enjoy $100 off kids and adult frames! Simply mention the code SPORTS to your Certified Optician at any of the Northwest Eye optical locations. Call (763) 416-7600 to schedule your appointment today.

Be Eye Wise and schedule your little one for their annual exam today!

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  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Ophthalmology, All About Vision & My Myopia


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