If you have a daughter, chances are very good that you've seen this haircut. From the daughter in "The Incredibles" to a variety of teen celebrities, there are a preponderance of girls who allow their hair to drape over one of their eyes.
Recently, one of our optometrists, Dr. Brandon Begotka, noticed a girl with this haircut and posed the question, "Could this haircut be a sign of vision problem, which ultimately might lead to problems in school?"
Dr. Begotka wondered this because many of the problems we see at The Vision Therapy Center are caused because the two eyes are not working together.
Because our developmental optometrists are always pondering the latest in vision development, he discussed the issue back at The Vision Therapy Center with Dr. Kellye Knueppel.
Dr. Begotka's concern was initially that the hairstyle might cause eyestrain, and perhaps even a vision problem. We use vision therapy to correct vision problems when the eyes don't work together, so naturally, doesn't it make sense that straining the eyes could actually cause a problem?
Here’s what could happen:
If someone has a vision problem, and one eye is covered by their hair, it may make the condition worse. However, the person may not say anything, because it might “feel” okay to them, as their eyes aren’t currently working well together. Eliminating the input from one eye may actually relieve the symptoms of their vision problem.
People who have vision problems have a visual system in which both eyes don’t work well together. In these cases, it's possible for the brain to not even register what the covered eye is seeing.
If someone does not have a vision problem and wears their hair this way, it could cause a vision problem.
Even though young girls (and boys) will go to great lengths to appease the fashion gods, their visual system would rebel if they wore their hair all the time covering one eye. They would start to experience eye strain, and possibly headaches. This may not be the case for everyone, but it could occur.
So what should you do?
If your child wears this popular style, ask them a simple question: Do you feel comfortable wearing your hair like that? If they answer yes, and you feel like they're struggling in school, these may be telltale signs that they have a vision problem.
Learn how undetected vision problems can impact a child's ability to learn. Download your free Vision and Learning Guide.