“Mommy, why do my eyes hurt?” You’ve heard the question time and time again, and frankly, you’re stumped.
Time and time again, your daughter has been rubbing her eyes. You’ve heard her complain about itching eyes and/or watery eyes. Whenever she reads or is on the computer for an extended time, her eyes hurt. And so do you.
Her teacher has noticed the problem too. You’ve had her tested for allergies by her physician, but the results have come up negative. You’ve taken her to the general care optometrist, who has tested her eyesight and found she has 20/20 vision.
You may be at the end of your rope, but you are not without hope. Because there may be a solution that you haven’t considered.
Her eyes may hurt because of an undetected vision problem
The scenario we just illustrated is fictitious, but we encounter stories like this every day. In case after case, we’ve seen children whose eyes hurt without any obvious cause.
In cases like these, it may be an undetected vision problem, disorders that include poor eye teaming, convergence insufficiency and excess, amblyopia and other problems.
How do these types of issues slip past so many parents, teachers and medical practitioners? The answer is simple: Awareness.
In the case illustrated above, most teachers are not aware that typical vision screenings conducted by schools won’t catch the vision issues we mentioned here. They’re not aware that these problems can lead to eye discomfort and learning problems.
Unfortunately, many primary physicians and some general optometrists may overlook the possibility of some of the vision problems mentioned here. Diagnosing and treating these issues falls in the realm of a developmental optometrist, who has received extensive training and uses specialized equipment to detect these problems.
So what can you do if you or your child’s eyes hurt?
To determine if your child has an undetected vision problem, you’ll first want to pinpoint the symptoms. Is your child experiencing eye discomfort after working on the computer, or when reading or writing? This type of close work is indicative of a vision problem.
If your child’s eyes are constantly watering or itchy, it may be related to allergies or eye dryness. But if he or she feels the symptoms after a period of near work, then the child may have a vision problem.
If this is the case, your next step would be to have a Functional Vision Test performed on your child. This testing is far more comprehensive than typical vision screenings found at schools, and is designed specifically for the vision problems mentioned earlier. Click here to learn more about a Functional Vision Test.
(Photo: Kneff Photography)
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