How Can I Know if My Child Needs Glasses by Monica Bratton, M.D.

September 9, 2018

Monica Bratton, M.D. is an ophthalmologist and pediatric specialist at the Marietta Eye Clinic.

Your child’s health is one of your top priorities. However, children aren’t always able to clearly communicate or realize when something is amiss. This is especially true when it comes to their eyesight.

A person’s vision has a major impact on countless aspects of their daily life. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the common childhood symptoms of poor eyesight so you can address it early on. Below, we’ve outlined some of the telltale signs your child needs glasses.


This is one sign that your child may be struggling with poor eyesight. If you notice them squinting to look at something far away, it may be because they’re trying to compensate for their inability to see something clearly at a distance. When objects far away are blurry, it may indicate myopia, or nearsightedness.

Frequent Headaches

If your child is experiencing frequent headaches, it may be linked to their eyes. Eye strain or asthenopia can occur when a child is struggling to see clearly. As they exert extra effort to bring things into focus, the resulting tension can lead to headaches or even nausea. An eye exam can help determine whether it’s time for corrective lenses. Of course, it’s always a good idea to see your pediatrician, as well, to rule out other systemic problems that can cause headaches.

Head Tilting

A child may tilt their head when they have uncorrected astigmatism. Astigmatism refers to the curvature of the front of the eye, which is called the cornea. Other causes of head tilting include eye muscle misalignment, also known as strabismus, and ptosis, the condition in which the upper eyelid droops into a person’s line of vision. To make it easier to see certain objects, your child may tilt his or her head.

Schedule Your Child’s First Eye Exam

Not being able to see clearly can be frustrating. If you notice your child experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be because of hidden vision problems. To be sure, the best thing you can do is schedule an eye exam. A pediatric ophthalmologist can determine whether your child needs prescription glasses. To ensure your child’s eyes are healthy and that they’re seeing clearly, schedule an appointment at the Marietta Eye Clinic today.

More About Pediatric Specialist Monica Bratton, M.D.

Dr. Bratton is an ophthalmologist at the Marietta Eye Clinic who specializes in pediatrics and adult strabismus. She serves the Kennestone, Acworth, Douglasville, West Cobb, and Towne Lake offices. Dr. Bratton graduated with her bachelor of arts from the University of Tennessee and received her medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Read her full bio here.

References and Additional Resources

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. It describes itself as a “global community of 32,000 medical doctors who protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public.” Its website is a great resource to learn more about how to care for your eyes.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) describes itself as the leading authority on quality care and an advocate for our nation’s health, representing more than 44,000 doctors of optometry (O.D.), optometric professionals, and optometry students. 

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