Back to School? Time for an Eye Test
Are your children school-ready?
It’s that time of the year again, the long Summer break is coming to an end and preparation for the new school year begins. Rushing to the shops to stock up on the usual essentials - stationery, lunch boxes, uniforms, socks, shoes - you name it!
However, one of the most important things involved in preparing our children for the new academic year that is often overlooked is ensuring that their eyes are prepared. This involves ensuring that our children’s eyes are healthy, they have up-to-date spare pairs just in case they lose or break their main pair of glasses, they have adequate contact lenses for sports, and of course for those who are short sighted, they have an up-to-date set of myopia control lenses.
Eye Care We Care School Scheme
We at Eye Emporium have joined the Eye Care We Care school scheme that has been created by HOYA lens manufacturers to create partnerships between teachers and eye care professionals in order to raise awareness about eye health. The programme has an innovative approach to appeal to children while also increasing awareness amongst adults (both parent and teachers) about eye health and myopia control thus helping the community.
As part of the Eye Care We Care programme, our expert Optometrists and Opticians will be visiting local schools and interacting with pupils in order to put them at ease with the procedure of an eye test while emphasising the importance of eye health.
Eye Tests for children
It is often thought that a child has no visual problems until they complain of one and it is only then that the majority of us would consider getting their eyes tested. As Optometrists, we recommend testing children’s eyes from as early as 3 years old if you feel there is no problem and, if there are concerns, even earlier.
Just as children’s bodies are developing very quickly so are their eyes. Undetected sight loss, congenital pathologies as well as acquired ones can heavily impact a child’s development in many ways - visually, socially and academically. This is why early eye tests are recommended in order to catch potential problems from a very young age and manage them appropriately.
Myopia risks in children
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a large increase in the number of children (and also adults) who have become more short sighted or in more technical terms “myopic”. Experts have started to refer to this phenomenon as a 'myopia epidemic'. Myopia is when the eye is “too big” or “too strong” and as such light focuses on an imaginary point in front of the retina. This results in the formation of a blurred image on the back of the eye causing poor vision. Spectacle or contact lens correction becomes necessary.
Myopia can impact children in many ways if it is not managed, including them being unable to see the board at school. Where there is a difference in the prescription between the eyes in very young children, myopia can also cause a lazy eye.
Slow down the progression of myopia
HOYA have recently introduced a spectacle lens MiyoSmart that has been proven in to curb myopia progression by up to 59%. They do this by having areas of defocus that ensure that the curvature of the eye is considered when focusing light on the back of the eye. This ensures that there is no stimulus for the eye to further extend its length thus slowing the progression of myopia.
So as we tick things off our school essentials list, we need to ensure that we are also giving our children the best start to the academic year by getting their eyes tested, getting them up-to-date spectacles and, where possible, we should attempt to control their myopia.
For more information on myopia control and to book your child an appointment to ensure their eyes are back to school ready, please call in to one of our stores or book online.
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