Happy and proud specs wearer Naomi Crawford is helping to mark Children’s Eye Health Week (30 October- 4 November) an initiative spearheaded by Specsavers to help dispel the confusion around children’s eye care.

The five-year-old from Antrim started wearing glasses shortly before her first birthday and since then, both she and big sister Chloe, have been looked after by Davin Quinn and his team at Specsavers in Antrim’s Castle Mall shopping centre.

Rare condition diagnosed

When she was just three months old, Naomi suffered seizures and was diagnosed with a rare condition called polymicrogyria, which has affected the right side of her brain resulting in epilepsy, learning and mobility challenges.

As a toddler Naomi underwent surgery to help manage her epilepsy and the polymicrogyria has impacted on her vision.

Right fit and frame essential

Mum Tracy explaied: ‘Naomi also has astigmatism and needs to wear glasses all the time. She has yearly eye checks at the hospital but we select frames and get Naomi’s glasses made up at Specsavers. Naomi is in a wheelchair but it doesn’t stop her from enjoying life and particularly school.

'She’s very sociable and loves choosing new specs and has selected sophisticated designer frames from Converse to Cath Kidston. Getting the right fit and frame to suit Naomi’s face is vital to help her with school work and overall development.

'Optometrist Davin, trainee dispensing optician Mairead McCann and all the staff are very patient and take their time to ensure both Naomi and myself are happy and that Naomi’s glasses stay in place. I would urge parents to make sure they take their children regularly to an optician and don’t wait until a problem has manifested itself.’

New research

As part of National Children’s Eye Health Week, new research commissioned by Specsavers shows that over two fifths of parents say their children haven’t had a test at an optician in the recommended last two years (41%).

The YouGov poll of parents aged 18 and under, found that more than 30% of parents say their children have never had an eye test at an optician. Reasons specified included; parents thinking there was nothing wrong with their eyes (44%) or that their children were too young (41%).

Early detection is critical

Antrim Specsavers optometrist and store director Davin Quinn said: ‘Early detection of any sight issues is critical. Between the ages of three and eight there is a real window of opportunity to identify and treat conditions such as myopia (short-sightedness) and lazy eye which can have no outward symptoms.’

All Antrim store information