The latest research from the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has found some “worrying” statistics relating to the lack of knowledge around children’s eye health.
The survey, which contains research from 2000+ parents in the UK with children ages 0 -11 revealed “one in three parents surveyed (33 per cent) thought their children should have their eyes examined for the first time when they started school,” additionally, “one in seven parents surveyed believed that children needed to be at least five years old before they could have their eyes examined.”
Why is it important to have your child’s eyes tested at a younger age?
Optometrist at Broadhurst optometrists, Imran Darbar, explains: “Prevention is better than cure. Testing children at an earlier age will help to detect any potential eye problems such as “refractive error, Amblyopia (lazy eye), squints and any other related eye development issues such as misalignment/ under development.
Imran also said the earlier the defect is identified the quicker and more chance of rectifying the problem. This is because children’s eyes are prone to a lot of changes and development especially within the first 8 years of their life.
The optometrist goes on to explain “if your child has a lazy eye, he/she may need to wear glasses full time at a young age to enable both eyes to develop equally and prevent amblyopia.”
If diagnosed and prevented earlier, this could have a huge impact in later life decisions. For example, a pilot needs to have full binocular vision in order to gain a flying license.
What are the options for children who are short-sighted?
We have a range of children’s glasses in fun and stylish models to suit your child’s needs.
It is also important to note that as soon as a patient is myopic and showing progression during a younger age, at this point in their development the eyeball is elongated (axial length increased) which therefore potentially increases the chances of a child potentially becoming more short-sighted. We supply contact lenses for children called MiSight which can potentially reduce the rate of progression of myopia in young children.
Over a three-year clinical trial, MiSight 1-day contact lenses reduced myopia progression by 59% (compared with standard single vision correction) with:
- 90% of children preferring to wear MiSight contact lenses over spectacles
- 90% of children able to insert and remove contact lenses on their own
- 100% of parents saying their children were happy with the experience
To read more about MiSight visit our blog here: https://blog.boptom.com/can-a-lens-really-reduce-the-progression-of-short-sightedness-in-children/
How can you test a child’s eyes when they can’t read yet?
We have various testing methods for children who struggle with reading letters and numbers such word matching or picture identification which is enough for an optometrist to examine vision. Autistic or non-verbal patients can also have their eyes tested using other non-invasive methods.
To conclude, the positives outweigh the negatives by far when you are deciding on whether to have your child’s eyes tested before starting school. We have tested children as young as 6 months old. If you would like to book an eye test for your child click here. Alternatively, you can book through our practices:
Preston: 01772 822591
Lytham: 01253 734791