Children’s Eye Problems
Getting your child’s eyes tested is very important. Perhaps they struggle to see the board at school which might lead to them falling behind the other students in the class all because they may not realise that they have a problem with their eyes.
Poor vision can have a damaging effect on a child’s ability to learn. Yet, research shows that as many as one in five children attend school with an un-diagnosed eye problem. The problem is that children don’t realize they have a sight defect and there may be no obvious signs for parents and teachers to pick up on. That’s why it is so important that children’s eyes are tested early, before starting school.
A lazy eye is a serious but treatable cause of reduced vision in children. It occurs when the vision in one eye has not developed normally. A lazy eye often results from a “turn” or squint in one eye. It can also be caused by a large difference in prescription between the two eyes or when one or both eyes have a large degree of astigmatism. When detected early, a lazy eye can usually be treated successfully.
Children with long-sight have difficulty focussing on near objects. For example, when reading or looking at a computer or tablet screen. .
Children with short-sight can see things clearly up close but find distance objects blurred. Early signs include difficulty seeing the board at school or sitting too close to the TV. Myopia often progresses during childhood and teenage years.
Astigmatism is caused by an irregular curvature of the cornea at the front of the eye. In other words, instead of being a spherical shape like a football, the eye is shaped more like a rugby ball. This can cause blurred vision at both distance and near.
Warning signs of poor vision to look out for:
headaches or eyestrain
peering closely at books and TV
poor performance at school
Free NHS Eye Tests
It’s never too early to get children’s eyes tested. In fact it’s a good idea to get them checked before the age of 4. That means any problems are discovered before starting school. It doesn’t matter if your child is too young to talk or read a letter chart. We can use a range of techniques to detect visual problems at any age.
As with any condition, the earlier any problems are identified, the better the outcome. If eye problems are not picked up at an early age, your child could end up with permanently reduced vision in one or both eyes.
Remember, it costs nothing to have your child’s eyes tested. Under the NHS, eye tests are free to all children under 16 and full-time students under 19
We are child friendly and willingly examine children of any age. We are very experienced at getting the best out of a child eye examination so don’t be concerned if you think that your child isn’t up to it. You may be surprised how well they can manage!