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The Importance Of Eye Health In Children

The importance of eye health in children

Did you know approximately 80% of a child’s learning is typically achieved visually? With good vision being such an important tool for learning, ensuring your children’s eyes are well looked after is crucial for their time spent at school.

children's eye test

What to look out for

It can sometimes be difficult to know when a child is experiencing problems with their vision or eyes. Their frame of reference is small, and they may not be able to communicate or understand the issues they’re facing.

It’s worth taking note of common indications that your child may need an eye exam, including:

  • misaligned eyes – can also present as frequent tilting of the head to compensate 
  • covering one eye – usually means one eye is stronger or weaker than the other 
  • rubbing their eyes – may be the result of strained eyes 
  • headaches or eye pain – can be caused by strained eyes and attempting to keep objects in focus 
  • light sensitivity, e.g., sunlight, camera flashes or indoor lighting 
  • distance to screens – holding screens close to the face is a common sign of short-sightedness (myopia) 
  • squinting – which changes the shape of our eye to manipulate focus 
  • short attention span – having poor vision can result in loss of interest in studies or other activities 
  • reading problems – skipping lines when reading could be due to trouble focusing on a particular spot 
  • falling behind at school – poor results may simply be down to poor eyesight. 

Having clear vision and healthy eyes can vastly improve the children’s quality of life, as well as their learning potential and confidence.

Eye tests for children

While we can test eyes as early as infancy, we generally recommend a children’s eye test from around 4 years old, if no problems have previously been identified. Eyes are still forming until around 8 years old and having a test done before attending school would be advantageous. Certain conditions such as myopia, squint and lazy eye, benefit from early intervention so being proactive can help your child’s vision in the long term.

But my child can’t read yet?

No matter what stage or age your child is at, we can tailor our eye tests. For example, we have picture-based tests, instead of using letters. If your child wants to bring in their favourite teddy or cuddly toy, we aim to make them feel just as welcome!

While our staff are both experienced and friendly, it still might be a daunting experience for young children. There are children’s programs that introduce opticians and glasses, such as Peppa Pig, or other videos that can be shown before attending which can help with easing anxieties.

Come and visit our Glasgow or Ayrshire opticians

We have experts on hand in our practices to help you navigate your way to the perfect Oakley lenses and frames. Get in touch for further information or to arrange a time to experience the power of Oakley sports sunglasses for yourself!