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Up to 1 million children in the UK have an undiagnosed vision problem. We asked Optometrist Alisdair Buchanan how to spot the problem. ‘Although there are some signs your child may be suffering from problems, this is not always the case. Children tend not to complain as they don’t know what normal vision is. All children should have their first eye examination at pre-school age or sooner if you have a family history of eye problems or have any concerns. Eye examinations should then be carried out regularly throughout childhood as children’s eyes grow and change so quickly. Remember an eye examination also assesses for health problems, not just visual difficulties so even if an examination shows your child has perfect eyesight they should still be tested regularly.’

1. One or both eyes turning (inwards, outwards, up or down) even if intermittently.

2. White pupil. Often seen as an absence of a red reflex in a photograph. This can be a retinoblastoma- a form of eye tumor and requires immediate urgent attention.

3. Difficulty reading. Even with perfect sight, it could be Irlen Syndrome which causes print to jump and blur. The condition is particularly prevalent in those who have dyslexia, migraine and specific learning difficulties. Reading

accuracy can be significantly improved following an eye tracking and coloured overlay assessment.

comfort, speed and

12 signs your child needs an eye test now.

4. Clumsiness.

5. Shyness or Rudeness. Poor sight means facial expressions can be difficult to interpret.

6. Lack of interest in certain tasks. If a child is very long sighted, reading, close work and puzzles are taxing for the eyes. Equally, for a short-sighted child, the outside world may appear blurry and scary, leading to clinginess and fear of bigger spaces.

7. Headaches. 8. Rubbing eyes.

9. Poor behaviour and concentration at school. When your child can’t see it can make reading from the board difficult or concentrating on near tasks a strain.

common for children who can’t see well to misbehave or become easily distracted in class or at home.

10. Delayed development in reading and speech.

11. Poor coordination.

12. Itchy, gritty, red eyes or scaly eyelids.

Buchanan House, 56 Malling Road, Snodland, Kent, ME6 5NB

Malling September 2018 9 It is therefore often Getting children’s eye care

right can give them the best start educationally, socially and in all aspects of life. At Buchanan Optometrists we test your children’s eyes with the same care we do for our own children. Spending longer than most opticians and using child- specific test we make sure every aspect of their eyesight and health is thoroughly monitored.

To find out more about children’s eye examinations visit

Book your child’s appointment

Call now on - 01732 617557

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