The parents of a two-year-old girl from Bathgate have praised the team at Specsavers in Bathgate for helping to correct their daughter’s sight after her vision rapidly deteriorated during lockdown.

Matthew and Kelly Kean are elated that their daughter is now able to have fun and play again thanks to the quick intervention.

Matthew noticed his young daughter, Harlow, started struggling with her vision in summer last year, meaning she couldn’t play without losing her balance or becoming disorientated.

He also noticed Harlow was developing a slight squint in both eyes and called his family GP, who recommended that he contact an opticians so a thorough assessment could be made.


It came from nowhere


Describing his alarm, he said: ‘The whole thing was quite scary as it seemed relatively sudden and Harlow had no previous issues with her sight,’ says Matthew. ‘It seemed to come from nowhere in the last few weeks of the first lockdown.

‘My daughter’s depth perception was fading rapidly, and her life changed in an instant as she was struggling with even the simplest of things like playing with her toys.’

Matthew called the Bathgate store to book an eye examination for Harlow. During her test at the store, they discovered Harlow had a significant squint. However, her parents were relieved to learn that, with a strong lens prescription, it was possible to correct her vision and help treat and reduce her squint.


‘The difference is night and day'


Matthew said: ‘Since she’s got her new glasses, the difference is night and day and she’s able to have fun again.

‘Harlow absolutely loved trying on glasses – she’s usually quite shy around new people but found her visit to the opticians really exciting.  When she settled on her favourite pair, the team put them in a wee pink case that she loves carrying around.

‘We’ve since had a few follow-up visits to monitor her vision and are due to visit the local hospital for additional check-ups. We’re very grateful to the team at Specsavers for their help and advice.’


Vital to visit


Morna Scott, store director at Specsavers Bathgate, said: ‘Harlow’s case, although rare, is a reminder of just how vital it is to visit an opticians in the event of any sudden changes in vision.

She added: ‘With children in particular, early detection of any issues is crucial. Common eye health conditions in children such as a lazy eye, squint or short-sightedness can be often be corrected with early intervention, ideally before they are eight years old.

‘Sight plays a vital part in children’s development of language, social and cognitive skills.  Visual impairment in children creates unique challenges to learning and development, which can have a profound impact on their education and wellbeing, so if you have any concerns whatsoever about your child’s vision don’t hesitate to call your local optician.’

Specsavers Bathgate is currently remaining open for all eye and hearing needs during the latest lockdown phase Under Scottish Government guidance for customers needing essential healthcare services