Understanding Visual Symptoms

Many people mistakenly think that vision is simply eyesight, and that if one has 20/20 vision, that they have no vision problems. However, this is far from the truth. There is much more to the visual system, and in order to properly recognize and understand the various vision issues that can arise, as well as their symptoms.

Understanding Visual Symptoms in Olympia

American Family Vision Clinic

Physical Symptoms

Some symptoms are easily observable in one’s actions, or how one feels on a regular basis. These include:

Frequent Headaches

If a child is having vision issues, especially issues like convergence insufficiency which make focusing difficult, the eye strain caused by attempts to force themselves to focus can lead to regular headaches.

Head Tilting

If a child tilts their head often while looking at either near or distant objects, it can signify a refractive error. The head tilting, which may be done unconsciously, helps them realign their eyes to better see.


Chronic fatigue can also be caused by increased eye strain due to one of several vision issues which makes daily activities more arduous and stressful.

Learning or Activity-Related Symptoms

Not all symptoms are obviously spotted through everyday activity. Some only present themselves during certain activities, such as reading or playing sports.

Reading Difficulties (slow speed, poor comprehension, skipping letters or lines)

Numerous vision issues can make reading a challenge, and that difficulty can manifest in multiple ways. In addition to the symptoms listed above, if a child uses their finger to mark the place as they read, it can also be an indicator of a vision issue.

Poor Hand-Eye Coordination

While some might not immediately recognize that difficulties with activities requiring hand-eye coordination as a vision issue, it very much is. Hand-eye coordination relies on the brain processing information received via the eyes. A child with poor handwriting, or who struggles in sports, may well have a vision issue that is holding them back.

Dr. Zurcher cartoon


There is more to the vision than can be measured via a simple test. Someone struggling with a vision issue can exhibit one of several symptoms. Some of these are obvious in everyday activities, while others are more subtle and are only noticeable during certain activities. It’s important to be able to recognize these in your child, and to understand that these can signify a vision issue, so that they can be properly diagnosed and receive the treatment necessary to correct it. If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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