As grown adults, most of us know how to recognize when something isn’t right with our bodies. Tooth ache? See a dentist. Back hurts? Visit a chiropractor. Sore throat? Call your GP. Parents should never assume that’s the case with their children though, as many of them don’t speak up when something doesn’t feel right. However, sometimes hindsight is 20/20.
Ashley McLaughlin, mother of five-year-old son Hunter, was surprised to hear from her son’s school that he was having difficulty with his classwork. She had never seen Hunter have any issues while at home, so this news from his teachers came as a complete surprise. “[Hunter] has always been very articulate, but he never voiced any real issues…everything was fuzzy, and for him that’s just how the world was” says Ashley.
After these difficulties were expressed, Hunter visited a doctor of optometry for a comprehensive eye exam, who diagnosed him with Astigmatism; a common visual condition that results in blurred or distorted vision at all distances.
When asked about the biggest piece of advice she’d like to share with parents, Ashley states:
“Never assume that your child doesn’t need regular health checkups (eyes, teeth, etc) just because YOU can’t see the signs. Kids are extremely adaptive and don’t know any better to tell you when or if something’s up with their health!”
After missing the signs for Hunter, she decided to put her own advice into action and had her middle son, Parker’s eyes checked. An optometrist determined that he too must wear high prescription glasses all day like his brother. Since Parker and Hunter have been wearing their glasses, both of their eyes have improved dramatically. Hunter’s vision has gone from 50/20 before wearing glasses to 20/20 with them on.
Common signs of astigmatisms include headaches, eyestrain, and distorted vision at certain distances. To catch astigmatism’ and other common eye conditions at their earliest stage, make sure to schedule your child regular appointments with a local doctor of optometry.