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Telltale symptoms are easy to spot.

The following behaviors could indicate that someone has a vision problem. If you observe one or more of these symptoms, we recommend a functional vision examination. You can print any of these checklists in an attached PDF format and bring it with you to the exam.

Observable Traits

• Crossed or lazy eye
• Frequent tilting of head to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher
• Excessive squinting, blinking, and/or closing of one eye
• Places head close to book while reading
• Poor visual/motor skills (“hand-eye coordination”)
• Problems moving in space, frequently bumps into things or drops things, is “clumsy”
• Difficulties catching and/or throwing airborne objects
• Appears to favor the use of one eye
• Burning or itching eyes, reddened in appearance
• Headaches in forehead or temples
• Exhibits posture problems


• Short attention span
• Nervous, irritable, or quickly fatigued while reading, looking at books, or doing close work
• Displays signs of emotional or developmental immaturity
• Low frustration level, doesn’t get along well with others
• Experiences blurry vision
• Nausea or dizziness
• Motion sickness
• Double vision

Work skills

• Repeatedly confuses left and right directions
• Holds the book or object unusually close
• Twists or tilts head toward a book or object to favor one eye
• Frequently loses place when reading or copying from the board or paper
• Difficulty remembering what was read
• Difficulty remembering, identifying and reproducing geometric shapes
• Often reverses words
• Uses finger to read
• Rubs eyes during or after short periods of reading
• Frequently skips words and/or has to re-read
• Repeatedly omits small words
• Struggles with handwriting
• Moves head back and forth (instead of moving eyes)

You can also spot vision-related problems in infants and preschoolers.