News this week released by the College of Optometrists and Ulster University revealed that nearly one in five teenagers in the UK are now short-sighted.

Study on children

The study found that children with one short-sighted parent are at least three times more likely to be short-sighted than those without. This increased when both parents are short-sighted to seven times more likely.

Eight years old is too late

The research also found that short-sightedness is most likely to occur between the ages of six and 13 years. At Specsavers we know that after eight years old it can be too late to prevent long-term eye sight issues such as a squint or a lazy eye, can lead to lifelong problems.

Specsavers opticians recommend an eye examination for all children before eight years old and then once every two years.

Questions to ask your child

For any children or parents concerned about their child’s eyesight, there are some simple questions:

• Can you see what’s on the board clearly when you sit at the back of the classroom?

• Do you often get headaches?

• Do you find you lose your place while reading?

• Do you rub your eyes a lot?

• Do you get your words the wrong way round when you are reading or writing?

• Do you find it difficult to see things close to your face, when you are drawing or making things?

• Is your handwriting messier than most of your friends?

• Do you prefer to hold books and comics close your face to see them clearly?

• Do you always sit close to the TV?

If a child answers ‘yes’ to many of these questions, then it could be time for an eye test.

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