Some Important Things to Know About Adolescent Eye Care & Development

August 03, 2021

Adolescent years are a time of growth, opportunity, activity, and learning as teenagers’ bodies undergo major changes. Puberty can bring new ways of living and new challenges, especially when it comes to health. While the majority of adolescents are healthy, one issue that can often arise and affect their lifestyles is vision problems. Here’s what you need to know about eye development during the adolescent years.

Early Eye Development

By the age of six, a child’s eyes and brain are developed enough to properly interpret visual signals like color and depth perception. They will be learning and developing reading comprehension skills, hand-eye coordination, distance interpretation, and more. However, if a child begins to experience learning or cognitive difficulties, it may mean that their vision needs correction.

Some children need eye correction from an early age, especially since vision problems can be evident as early as a year or two old. However, it’s not uncommon for the middle and high school years to be the time when a child begins to experience sight challenges. Since puberty affects the whole body, it can impact continued development of the eyes, which don’t finish fully growing until around age 20. Some common signals of vision problems that your child might exhibit during their preteen and teen years include:

  • Frequent eye rubbing, squinting, or blinking
  • Covering one eye
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Seeing double
  • Eyes turning in or out
  • Mental fatigue
  • Frequent headaches
  • Short attention span
  • Avoiding reading and other close-up activities
  • Losing their place while reading
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension or remembering what has been read
  • Struggling with performing in sports and other activities

Some of these symptoms tend to overlap with symptoms of other conditions such as ADHD or dyslexia, which is why it’s important for children and adolescents to have a regular physical and eye exam in preparation for school. That way, they can avoid being misdiagnosed and can begin working on finding a solution.

Common Adolescent Eye Conditions

A child may exhibit symptoms of poor eyesight from an early age, but if they have not by the time they become adolescents, these are some of the conditions they may begin to experience.

Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness (also known as myopia) is when an individual can see things close to them, but has a hard time seeing things far away. The levels of this condition can vary greatly, but it often begins to show itself when adolescents enter advanced reading levels, participate in sports and other extracurricular activities, and learn to drive. It can affect their ability to learn in a classroom setting, see a ball on a field, or even cause issues with depth perception. Myopia can be influenced in part by long periods of close-up reading of small-print words and heavy use of screen time, and can be managed through the use of prescription lenses.

Farsightedness

On the opposite side of the spectrum from nearsightedness, farsightedness (also known as hyperopia) is when an individual is unable to see things close to them. This can result in bumping into walls and other people that they didn’t realize are close to them, and having difficulty comprehending words on a page without holding the book at a distance. Farsightedness is fairly common in young children, but if it continues to grow, adolescents may need eye correction in order to improve vision.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is an eye condition in which the curvature of the lens of the eye is misshapen, which can cause both near and far vision to be blurry. Effects of astigmatism can vary so drastically that one person can have different levels of visual impairment in both eyes. This eye condition can usually be corrected through the use of prescription lenses, just like nearsightedness and farsightedness.

UV Damage

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can affect people of every age. However, symptoms of its effects can be seen as early as the adolescent years, especially if children spend a lot of time outside without proper eye protection. It’s not uncommon for 75 to 80 percent of eye damage from UV rays to occur by the age of 18, which means it’s essential for children who are active outdoors to wear proper sun protection gear. This should include polarized, UV-blocking sunglasses and keeping themselves from looking for too long directly at or near the sun.

Eye Injury

Because of how active the adolescent years usually are, children may experience injuries at a young age. The face is particularly susceptible to injury during athletic activities, building things in workshops or during community service projects, or even just tripping and falling. It’s important to know proper first aid techniques in case your child gets a foreign object in their eye or experiences a blow to the face or head.

Contact Us!

It’s generally a good idea to make sure your teen or preteen gets an annual eye exam, as a lot can happen to their sight over the course of a year. If they need vision correction, it would be our pleasure to give them a prescription and help them choose between glasses and contact lenses. If they experience a major eye emergency, call 911 or take them to the emergency room first. However, if they experience a black eye or getting an object in their eye, you can contact us for an emergency visit. Schedule your teen’s next eye appointment today!

What Our Patients Think

  • Ben Crosswhite / OWNER, CROSSWHITE FITNESS
    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
  • Brenda Edson in front of a brick home
    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
  • Bryan Mitchell outside of a football stadium
    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
  • Charles / RETIRED COMMANDER , UNITED STATES NAVY
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
  • Cynthia Stewart standing outside
    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
  • Janice Bloom standing in front of a tree
    Janice Bloom / ADMISSIONS DATABASE & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
  • Jon Dupin standing outside of a brick home
    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
  • Lucy standing in a classroom
    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
  • Penny Abbot in front of a home
    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
  • Sallie Bloom / SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    Sue / CHIROPRACTOR
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
  • Tim / NATIONAL ENDURO CHAMPION
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    Troy Doss / ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AT JEFFERSON FOREST
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
Read More Testimonials