Signs of Vision Problems

How does a vision problem manifest itself?

The following signs and behaviors could indicate a vision problem. If you observe one or more of these symptoms, we recommend that you start with a comprehensive vision examination.

Behavior-related signs

  • Short attention span
  • Nervous, irritable, or quickly fatigues while reading or doing close work
  • Displays signs of emotional or developmental immaturity
  • Low frustration level, doesn’t get along well with others
  • Appears lazy, does not want to try
  • Often says “I Can’t” before trying
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Nausea or dizziness
  • Motion sickness

Work skills

  • Takes hours to do 20 minutes of homework
  • Frequently loses place when reading or copying from the board or paper
  • Difficulty remembering what was read, poor comprehension
  • Difficulty with spelling or math
  • Difficulty remembering, identifying and reproducing geometric shapes
  • Uses finger to read
  • Frequently skips words and/or has to re-read
  • Repeatedly omits small words
  • Says words are moving or sees double
  • Often reverses words or letters
  • Struggles with handwriting
  • Moves head back and forth (instead of moving eyes) while reading
  • Repeatedly confuses left and right directions
  • Holds the book very close
  • Twists or tilts head toward a book to favor one eye
  • Rubs eyes during or after short periods of reading

Observable Traits

  • Crossed or wondering eye
  • Head is tilted to one side
  • Excessive squinting, blinking, and/or closing, covering of one eye
  • Getting very close to the book while reading
  • Poor handwriting, difficulty copying from the board
  • Problems moving in space, frequently bumps into things or drops things, is “clumsy”
  • Difficulties catching and/or throwing a ball
  • Red eyes, frequent rubbing
  • Squinting when looking far
  • Frequent headaches in forehead or temples
  • Poor posture or balance problems



Take the Vision Quiz, selecting the option that best describes how often each symptom occurs:
(This survey is not a substitute for consulting a physician, and does not provide diagnoses).