Your Child's Eyesight

Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

With the school summer holidays nearly upon us now is the perfect time to get your child’s eyes tested. Did you know that young children rarely complain that they can’t see? This may be because they feel what they are seeing is normal. Generally children will only start to complain when they are already at school and are struggling to see the board. There are however subtle hints that will help you to identify if your child is struggling to see clearly.

They move closer to objects they are trying to concentrate on, i.e. the television. It may be because they are trying to get closer to their favourite TV characters or it could be their sight…either way it is best to get their eyes tested.

They blink or rub their eyes excessively. This can be caused by eye strain which over-stimulates the blink reflex and tired the muscles. Some children around the age of 5 (usually boys) sometimes start to blink in excess and this becomes a habit, it usually resolves itself however again it is worth coming in.

One eye turning either in or out, also known as a strabismus or squint. This can be caused by the eyes attempting to overcome a visual problem. Children can either be born with this or it can be acquired later on.

Even if your child does not have any of the above symptoms it does not mean they have perfect vision, it is still vitally important they are seen for a sight test. The earlier visual problems are caught the easier they are to resolve, either with spectacles, eye exercises or a referral to an Orthoptist. Testing is free on the NHS for anyone under the age of 16 and we recommend children are seen once a year from the age of 4 however if you have any concerns before then please do come and see us. Children do not have to be able to read to have a sight test as there are a number of age appropriate tests available.

As spectacles grow in popularity (number one fashion accessory at fashion weeks last year) we have seen a dramatic increase in children wanting spectacles, and concerned parents worried their child may be given spectacles when they do not need them. To put your mind at rest there are a number of different testing methods our Optometrists can use to determine for certain whether your child needs spectacles. Rest assured there is no way to fool the staff at C.E.Halls!

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