1 in 4 children in the UK have problems with their sight which can be easily corrected.

Current research shows that approximately 25% of school-age children have undetected visual problems that are hindering their school performance. Poor eyesight can have a significant and detrimental impact on a child’s ability to learn, yet it can go unrecognised if a regular eye examination is not carried out. Sight problems can therefore also lead to poor behaviour, losing confidence and also cause children to fall behind at school. During the first 12 years of our lives, as much as 80% of our learning is accomplished through our vision.

Children have a remarkable ability to adapt well to different conditions. This means that a child may not complain about having difficulties seeing. In fact, most parents address concerns following reports from teachers of problems at school, or on observing unusual behaviour such as eye.

In particular, visual problems affecting one eye alone are only detected when a child attends for an eye examination with their optometrist, or is referred by the school following failure of a basic vision screening assessment. The vision screening test carried out in schools is not a comprehensive eye test. It is only designed to pick up poor vision. It does not pick up low or moderate sight abnormalities that can still affect a child’s ability to see comfortably. Vision screening involves a quick series of checks that often do not look at the following:

  • Binocular Vision – i.e. – the eyes ability to work together as a pair which allows us to see in ‘3D’.
  • Ability to track print across a written page without losing their place.
  • To comfortably adjust focus from near to far distance

Children, from the age of 2 years, will benefit from a professional eye exam. As the visual system is mature around the age of 8, it is essential that any problems are picked up so that the correct treatment can be issued as early as possible. Otherwise a sight defect may become a permanent feature and be carried on into adulthood.

Under the NHS we are able provide free eye exams for children up to age 16. We use modern interactive test charts with animations and images (instead of the old-fashioned letters), making the whole the exam more fun and engaging.

Can kids wear contact lenses

Advances in lens materials have made it extremely safe for children to use contact lenses. These could be for occasional use, for example sport, or for full time use. Our optometrists are well experienced in fitting children with lenses. Children are unusually good at adapting to the wear and care of contact lenses. Please ask a member of our staff for more information.

Sun safe

We are well used to protecting our skin from the sun’s rays but often forget about our eyes. It is estimated that 80% of total lifetime exposure to UV rays occurs before the age of 18. This can make the eyes more susceptible to changes such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Ask us about smart photochromatic spectacle lenses which have a tint that adjusts according to the amount of UV light present, helping to protect their eyes in all light conditions.