Symptoms of Functional Vision Problems

Telltale Symptoms are Easy to Spot

The following behaviors could indicate that someone has a vision problem.  you observe one or more of these symptoms, we recommend a functional vision examination. You can print any of these checklists in an attached PDF format and bring it with you to the exam.

Observable Traits

  • Crossed or lazy eye
  • Frequent tilting of head to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher
  • Excessive squinting, blinking, and/or closing of one eye
  • Places head close to book while reading
  • Poor visual/motor skills (“hand-eye coordination”)
  • Problems moving in space, frequently bumps into things or drops things, is “clumsy”
  • Difficulties catching and/or throwing airborne objects
  • Appears to favor the use of one eye
  • Burning or itching eyes, reddened in appearance
  • Headaches in forehead or temples
  • Exhibits posture problems


  • Short attention span
  • Nervous, irritable, or quickly fatigued while reading, looking at books, or doing close work
  • Displays signs of emotional or developmental immaturity
  • Low frustration level, doesn’t get along well with others
  • Experiences blurry vision
  • Nausea or dizziness
  • Motion sickness
  • Double vision

Work Skills

  • Repeatedly confuses left and right directions
  • Holds the book or object unusually close
  • Twists or tilts head toward a book or object to favor one eye
  • Frequently loses place when reading or copying from the board or paper
  • Difficulty remembering what was read
  • Difficulty remembering, identifying and reproducing geometric shapes
  • Often reverses words
  • Uses finger to read
  • Rubs eyes during or after short periods of reading
  • Frequently skips words and/or has to re-read
  • Repeatedly omits small words
  • Struggles with handwriting
  • Moves head back and forth (instead of moving eyes)

You can also spot vision-related problems in infants and preschoolers.

Take the Vision Quiz for a
score-based evaluation of your symptoms.


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