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When a child is born you want them to have every advantage possible, and although they may seem perfect to their parents, at least at first, there are some things about them that are not quite perfect. For one, their vision is still developing, and it will take a while before they see everything they should. For some kids, however, there may be visual tracking issues that may contribute to long-term vision problems.
A Visual Tracking Disorder happens when a child's two eyes somehow become out of sync with one another. One of the biggest reasons why it is necessary to recognize this early is because it affects a child's ability to learn to read. When the eyes do not work together they are unable to follow the lines of text in a book, leading to skipped lines and words and ultimately a lot of frustration for your child. Visual tracking is not something that normally comes naturally, and many children who have trouble need additional help in order to overcome and prevent reading disabilities.
When a child has an eye tracking problem, they have difficulty achieving proper eye teaming, which means their eyes are not working together as they should. Having proper eye teaming contributed to having comfortable, sustained vision with adequate depth perception. Problems with eye teaming most often happen when there is convergence insufficiency or convergence excess. With an insufficiency, the eyes turn out during reading or close work. With an excess, they turn inward. The result may be a sense of double vision and may also contribute to headaches.
Many vision problems begin in childhood, and often they are similar to issues that adults experience. Various refractive errors at different levels of severity are common, including
When a child is very young, it might be difficult for them to tell that they are not seeing everything as well as many of their peers, so it may be necessary to pay attention to their behavior in order to determine that their vision is normal. When a child starts to have issues with their vision, they may squint more, rub their eyes when they are not tired, or they may tell you that things look blurry. Changes in their interest in reading, skipping lines when reading aloud, or complaints of tired eyes or headaches can indicate that there is an issue that needs to be examined closer by their eye doctor.
Between wearing corrective lenses and participating in vision therapy, many childhood vision problems can be managed or corrected early, minimizing long-term effects, including learning disabilities. Even without a specific concern, children should receive a comprehensive pediatric eye exam by the time they are two years old, and in many cases, pediatricians may recommend even earlier visits. At Prescott Valley Eye Care, P.C., our optometrist in Prescott Valley, AZ can address any concerns about your child's vision and let you know what to watch for and how to help your child see their best. Contact us at 928-771-9939 to schedule an appointment.
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