Good eyesight is so important for everyday life. Even more so for children, who need to see correctly in order to learn about the world around them.

The American Optometric Association recommends children get their first eye exam between age six months and two years. They also recommend a check-up between ages three and five, followed by annual exams for ages 6 through 18. At Foster Vision in Portland, we see children for many eye issues. Here are some additional red flags that indicate your child should see an optometrist.


Squinting in just one eye can be an indicator of strabismus–a condition in which the eyes are misaligned. Squinting in both eyes could indicate a vision problem, the most common of which is farsightedness. Other symptoms of a vision problem include head tilting, closing one eye, headaches, and eye rubbing. Fortunately, these problems are easy to diagnose with an eye exam, and easily corrected with glasses.

Itchy Eyes

The most common cause of itchy eyes is some sort of allergy. But that’s not the only reason your child’s eyes might itch. Itchy eyes can also be a symptom of meibomian gland dysfunction, dry eye syndrome, or blepharitis. If your child rubs their eyes often, it’s best to have them examined.

Red or Pink Eyes

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a common type of eye infection. Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria or a virus. Children with pink eye should see their pediatrician or optometrist. Pink eye is very contagious, so be sure your child washes their hands often and does not attend school or daycare until they have been treated.

Irritated Eyes

There are many reasons a child’s eyes may be irritated. In babies, irritation in one or both eyes may be caused by a blocked tear duct. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates 20 percent of babies are born with this condition. For older children, irritated eyes may indicate several other problems which can easily be diagnosed and treated by an optometrist.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

Don’t take your children’s good vision for granted. If you’re concerned about any of these symptoms, call Foster Vision in Portland at (503) 546-4460.

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