Discovering Vision Therapy Blog

Rubbing eyes and "eyes hurt" could be signs of vision problems


Pay attention if your child rubs his/her eyes

Every parent has seen their kids rubbing their eyes or complaining that their “eyes hurt”. Your initial reaction might be that they either have allergies or have spent too much time in an over-chlorinated pool. Both cases might be correct, but these symptoms may also be an indicator of a much larger vision problem. 

What causes the rubbing eyes and the eyes to hurt?

Kids will often rub their eyes because the eyes are fatigued.   This is a relatively common action:  What little toddler doesn’t rub their eyes before dozing off for a nap?

For most cases, rubbing eyes occasionally is not a cause for concern. 

However, rubbing eyes may also be an indication that the child’s eyes are fatigued due to a vision problem.  A number of vision issues  can cause fatigue, including focusing and eye teaming problems.

All of these conditions can have a major impact on a child’s ability to learn and function effectively in society, and they can be diagnosed through a functional vision test.  This is a set of comprehensive tests much more thorough than a typical vision screening.

How do you tell if rubbing eyes is serious enough for a functional vision test?

To determine if your child may be suffering from a vision problem, don’t just consider the frequency of the eye-rubbing but also its association with near work.  Does your child rub their eyes doing computer work, reading or writing? 

If that’s the case with your child, you should strongly consider a functional vision test.

The Vision and Learning Guide from The Vision Therapy Center. Learn how undetected vision problems can impact a child's ability to learn.  Download your free Vision and Learning Guide.

Posted by   Greg Mischio