Kid playing sportsFrom hand-eye coordination to depth perception, your child’s success in sports or any physical activity is highly dependent on the quality of their vision.

  • Nearsightedness (myopia) causes blur, especially when looking at distances over 20 feet or so. Children who sit very close to the TV may do so because they see better at short distances. They may also prefer to sit close to the TV because they simply want to feel more engaged by the activity.

  • Children with blurred vision “squint” or narrow their eyelids to see things more clearly.

  • Farsightedness (hyperopia) causes strain, especially for near tasks. Depending on the amount of farsightedness, vision may remain clear at distance and even at near. Headaches, upset stomach, tiredness around the eyes and recurring styes are symptoms of farsightedness.

  • Eyes that have astigmatism can never achieve a totally clear image. In many cases, astigmatism causes a constant, fluctuating contracture of the focusing muscle of the eye. This can interfere with clarity, comfort, and even depth perception.

  • Nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can occur singly or in any combination in an eye.

If your child engages in sports, be sure to tell your optometrist. Some sports require special eye protection, and your optometrist will discuss that with you. Also, even minor eye problems can affect eye-hand coordination, distance judgement, perception of fine detail, and balance. Sports activities should be taken into consideration when a thorough eye examination is done.