Research found that 80% of what a child learns is via their vision. Untreated eye problems in children affect their development, social interaction, and education. This can lead to falling behind in class and experiencing difficulties in performing simple daily tasks such as doing sport and interacting in social contexts. Consequences often include the outbreak of emotional problems and sometimes even the misdiagnosis of dyslexia or other cognitive disorders.

1 in 5 children in the UK have an undetected eye problem. Children, especially the youngest, may not realise they have a vision problem so, without routine tests, there's a risk that an eye condition might never be spotted. It’s important for parents to know that children can have an eye test at any age. In fact, being able to read, or even speak, is not necessary. The sooner any eye problem is found, the sooner a child will be able to get the treatment and support needed.

In a child, an eye problem may be the cause of:

Eyes not pointing in the same direction
Complaining of headaches and eye strain
Problems when reading, such as holding books too close to their face or losing their place regularly
Difficulties with hand-eye coordination, for instance when playing ball games
Consistent and frequent clumsiness
Frequent rubbing of the eyes
Being too close to a TV or mobile screen

It is crucial that parents bring their children to the optician at least once a year to prevent and detect any eye problem. Under 16s are entitled to a free eye test and a contribution towards glasses paid by the NHS. Students aged 18 or under in full-time education are also eligible.

Book your free under 16 appointment or full-time student appointment with your trusted Eye Emporium or John High optician this half term.