Childhood vision problems… the unseen learning difficulty.

By Marnie Adams, Contributor @ Kids In Perth 19 Oct 2021

Do you see? Little girl in optical office.

When a child has a fever, it’s obvious from them being lethargic and feeling their temperature.

However, when it comes to childhood eyesight and vision problems, ironically, it is often overlooked by parents because it isn’t always physically obvious. Even children with seemingly perfect eyesight can have vision problems and it’s something which children hardly complain about. Imagine that?

Increasingly, as they get older, having good eyesight and vision plays a bigger role in determining a child’s ability to develop to their full potential and success in life. Beyond social consequences, such as a lack of confidence causing unwillingness to participate in sports and playground games. The most detrimental impact of childhood vision problems is how it hinders a child's ability to learn and study over their lifetime.

As they get older, good vision plays crucial roles in education and studies because students have to read, write and work more in smaller print and font sizes across textbooks, screens and computers.

Little boy working at his desk in class at the elementary school

Handy Glossary of Optometry terms

Before visiting your optometrist, here are a few things to be informed about when it how eyesight and vision plays a role in learning and education:

  • Visual acuity
    Your child’s vision needs to be clear at different distances. From close up for books and papers, mid-range for computer screens and devices, finally at distance for the teacher’s instructions on the blackboard. Some children require glasses to help see clearly if their focus is too close (nearsighted), too far (farsighted), or not at one point (astigmatism).

  • Eye focusing
    Your child’s eyes need to be able to change focus quickly from far to near. For example, from the front of the classroom to a paper on the desk and back again.

  • Eye alignment and tracking
    Your child’s eyes need to be coordinated and able to track together when moving from word to word in a book or on the board at school. Misalignment of the eyes can cause poor depth perception and blurry double vision.

  • Color vision
    Lesson and test adjustments may be needed for subjects that require colour differentiation such as geography.

For children experiencing these vision problems, it can lead to eye strain symptoms including headaches, fatigue and poor attention.

If you are concerned about your child’s poor academics and classroom attention, booking an eye examination with an eye doctor (pediatric ophthalmologist) or optometrist offers a starting point toward diagnosing the underlying problem.

Please scroll down for advice on how to detect possible vision problems in your child. This advice is provided by Dr. Geoff Cooper & Dr Julie Lourie from Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists.

two asian girls feel tired in online class at home because of covid-19.

Common signs for detecting vision problems in children | from Dr Geoff & Dr Julie’s

  • Eye squinting
  • Frequently covering or rubbing one or both eyes
  • Eyes that cross or not straight
  • Head turns or tilts when trying to focus
  • Holding reading material or watching TV too close
  • Headaches or sore eyes after reading for a long time
  • Frequently losing their place when reading
  • Avoiding reading and activities which require close-up focus
  • Disinterest in concentrated visual tasks including reading or looking at computer screens over long periods of time

If your child has any of these symptoms, it’s best to have your child examined by an eye doctor (pediatric ophthalmologist) or optometrist.


Have questions about your child's eyesight & vision?

Have your questions and concerns answered by local Perth experts in childhood vision and Ortho K therapy, Dr. Geoff Cooper, and the team at Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists.

Dr. Geoff Cooper and Dr Julie Lourie, founders of Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists, have been serving Perth families for over 40 years and fitting Ortho-K lenses for the last 15 years.

Both principals were among the initial pioneers to use this therapy to treat Perth children and continually follow research into this field.

Find everything you need below to make an appointment at one of Cooper and Lourie Family Optometrists' practice locations.

Alternatively, simply use the Messenger chat to the right of this screen to start a direct conversation.

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Contact Details | get in touch

Do you see? Little girl in optical office.
Cooper&Lourie logo

Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists (Innaloo)
Westfield Innaloo Shopping Centre, Shop 1126 Ellen Stirling Blvd, Innaloo WA 6018
Ph: 9446 1887

Opening Hours

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays | 8.30am-5.30pm
Thursday | 8.30am - 7pm
Saturday | 8.30am-5pm
Sunday | CLOSED

Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists (Nedlands)
Broadway Fair Shopping Centre, 88 Broadway Crawley WA 6009
Ph: 9386 8581

Opening Hours

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays | 8.30am-5.30pm
Thursday | 8.30am - 7pm
Saturday | 8.30am-4pm
Sunday | CLOSED

For Emergencies (A/H Mobile) 0412 911 729

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