Vision Express Opticians - Vision taken seriously

Your Child’s First Eye Test

As with any medical procedure, an eye test, can be daunting to a child the first time around, however we have modified the process to be more fun and child-friendly whilst ensuring we get as much information as we can from their eyes.

All babies will have their eyes checked at birth and then six weeks later by a GP. Unfortunately, most schools no longer have mandatory eye tests and only 60% of schools provide their pupils with an examination. These tests are not as in-depth as a standard eye test and can miss more important conditions.

According to a report by the Association of Optometrists, 1 in 5 children have an undetected eye problem. Needless to say, this can be very damaging to the child’s educational development, since 80% of what children learn is through vision. Quite often, children do not realise that there is a problem with their eye sight, which can develop into larger problems. Gradually, being unable to read what the teacher writes upon the board can start to cause a decline in learning, they can start falling behind in class, which can lead to emotional problems and sometimes even be misdiagnosed as learning problems.

This is why it is important to get your kids tested early, so that any potential problems can be identified and acted upon. It is also worth remembering that all children under the age of 16 are entitled to a free eye test and a NHS discount off their glasses.

Childrens eye health

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  • The Eye Test

    A child’s eye test is slightly different to a normal sight test but still provides an in depth assessment of their eye health and vision. It begins by collecting personal and family history details and progresses with a full test that compare’s your child to expected levels of development and growth. The footage shows the different techniques used to test children's eyes, with particular emphasis given to investigating signs of squints, lazy eyes, testing colour vision, as well as 3D vision. Our Optometrists have amended the whole process to be fun and child friendly, so it is quick, easy but no less insightful.

  • Optometrist Test vs School Tests

    Though some schools still do perform sight tests for their pupils, they are not full examinations and won’t give a detailed a view of your child’s eye health. The tests are not carried out by a professional Optometrist and can miss out important conditions. For example, although distance vision is tested, the many levels of long-sight are not covered.

  • Signs of problems in eye health

    Signs of problems in eye health.

    There are a number of signs in your child’s behaviour that could hint at problems with their sight.

    • Poor handwriting can be caused by poor hand-eye coordination.
    • Frustration in the learning environment.
    • Frequent squinting and frowning.
    • Irritated eyes and excessive rubbing of the eye region.
    • Difficulty or inability to copy text from the board.
    • Skipping words or whole lines of texts when reading or copying from the board.
    • Poor level of reading.

    These problems can sometimes be misdiagnosed as dyslexia or other learning and mental problems. The fact is, eyesight is a person’s dominant sense when learning. If there is a problem in absorbing information, then there is likely to be frustration which may have further repercussions. Again, a single eye test would be enough to provide some insight.

  • Children’s eye health – a timeline

    A child's vision continues to develop until around the age of 8. When a baby is born, the eyes are checked early on by a post natal specialist followed by your own GP several weeks later. Generally they can have an eye test at any age, but it is recommended before they start school, when their eyesight will be important for learning.

  • Retinoblastoma

    Retinoblastoma is a form of eye cancer, which particularly effects children under the age of 5. It is extremely rare with 50 reported cases a year in the UK. Signs include a white reflection or a lack of red eye in flash photography. Though it is a very serious condition, it can be identified by an eye test.

    For more information visit our Retinoblastoma page in our eye health section.

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