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Children's Eye Care

One out of five children in the UK are suffering from an undiagnosed eyesight problem. Your child’s eyesight affects more than their ability to see. Hand eye coordination, sports performance and self-confidence can all be affected by poor vision in childhood.  All babies should have been screened at birth before leaving the hospital to make sure that their eyes are in good working order.  A  full eye examination should then be carried out when your child is three years old; this should be followed up with regular sight check-ups due to the speed with which children grow

 

WHEN TO VISIT THE OPTICIAN

Even if your child is not exhibiting any symptoms and no problems are suspected it makes good parental sense to take them for regular children's eye tests. We recommend that every child has a sight test before they start school. The NHS recommends if your child doesn’t wear spectacles they should have a sight test at least every two years. If your child is prescribed glasses, has a lazy eye, or other optical condition you will be advised to have tests more frequently, possibly every 3, 6 or 12 months.

 

AS A PARENT WHAT SHOULD I WATCH OUT FOR?

A child should be examined immediately if they show the following symptoms to rule out any vision problems:

• Gets frustrated when reading

• Closes or covers one eye

• Poor handwriting

• Screws up eyes or frowns to see

• Rubs eyes and blinks a lot

• Finds it difficult to copy words from the chalkboard

• Complains that things are blurry or hard to see

• Short attention span; gazes out of the window

• Frequently loses place when reading

• Skips words or whole lines of text

 

COST

The cost of eye tests for under-16s and those in full time education aged under 19 is met by the National Health Service.  Should the results of your child's eye examination tell us that they need corrective lenses they will qualify for an NHS voucher entitling them to free spectacles from our stylish children's range.  We at Vision Care also stock a full range of children’s fashion and designer glasses should you wish to upgrade.  These frames come in designs that are more comfortable, flexible and hard wearing, for your child to wear.

 

 

WHAT IF MY CHILD CAN’T READ YET?

Even if your child doesn't know his or her letters yet we have special tests to make your child’s sight examination fun experience!  This includes use of pictures and matching games and there are many tests which do not need a response from the child. For younger children the tests are adapted and simplified giving a tailored sight test for every child’s individual needs.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF CHILDRENS EYECARE

If your child is long sighted and this goes unnoticed he or she will be at a high risk of developing a lazy eye.  If this can be detected before the age of 5 it can be treated which gives the best opportunity to encourage the eye to develop normally.  If it is not detected in time it maybe result in a permanently "lazy eye” as the nerve pathways to the brain will not connect properly.

Having a lazy eye can have a profound effect in later life as it means you only see clearly from one eye even with glasses. It can also mean you cannot do certain jobs including entering the armed forces, emergency services, professional driving jobs and many others.

Children can become myopic (short sighted) very quickly and this can go unnoticed, which causes problems at school viewing the white board.  This reinforces the need to have your children’s eyes examined on a regular basis.

 

WHAT A CHILDS SIGHT EXAMINATION INVOLVES

• Measurement of vision

• Eye movements and checking for squints

• Examination of the eye health

• Measurement of prescription to check if spectacles are required

• Pupil reactions

• Stereopsis tests – to check that the eyes are working as a pair. Better known as 3D vision.

• Colour vision

 

CONTACT LENSES

We at Vision Care also fit contact lenses to children. There's no age limit and we can fit from an early age depending upon how responsible they are. Children are taught how to apply and remove the lenses themselves, but must understand fully the need to look after them properly. Contact lenses can hugely boost confidence and gives freedom from glasses for many sporting and social activities

We recommend you book a contact lens consultation for more information to discuss the lens options that are most suitable for your child and to express any concerns you may have as a parent.