As part of Children’s Eye Health Month, Specsavers Larne’s Deirdre McAree takes a look at young eyes and offers advice on regular checks and keeping an eye on your children’s eye health.

For both children and adults, a regular eye test is a vital health check and should be a part of everyone’s normal health care routine – just as you would visit the dentist on a regular basis.

This month is Children’s Eye Health Month and we recommend that children have their first eye test from aged three onwards as the earlier any potential problems are picked up the better the outcome will be.

Signs to look out for

It can be a challenge to tell whether your child has a vision issue and you can’t rely on them to let you know. However there are a number of signs to look out which could mean your child’s vision isn’t one hundred percent. Frequent eye rubbing, sensitivity to light, sitting too near the television or holding a book close-up to eyes as well as losing their place a lot while reading or using a finger to guide their eyes are all indications that there may be a sight issue. Other warning signs are complaining of headaches or tired eyes, avoiding activities that require good vision such as homework, reading or taking part in sports or other recreational activities and not wanting to use a computer or tablet because it ‘hurts their eyes.

Other important signs to look out for are the presence of a ‘turn’ in the eye or a misdirection of the eyes or a ‘white reflex’ in photos. This is like red-eyes in photos except it is white and can potentially be very serious. If you notice it you should seek medical attention immediately.

Good vision helps children to find out about the world all around them, about their home and their friends and family. Later in school eyesight helps children learn and discover – in fact about 80% of what is taught in school is presented visually, so being able to see clearly is therefore very important to overall development. In today’s digital age it’s also important that children give their eyes a rest from smart phone or tablet games and activity – encourage them to look after their eyes. (They may not thank you immediately but they will thank you when they are older!)

The most enjoyable test your child can do!

At Specsavers, our children’s eye tests have been designed to be enjoyable – some of our younger patients have told us it’s the most enjoyable ‘test’ they’ve had! We use specifically designed charts that allow them to recognise shapes or pictures or even to match letters which means we can test children’s eyes even before they can fully read.

We’d be delighted to welcome your child to the Specsavers Larne store.

To make an appointment visit our webpage below or phone 028 2826 3490.

All Larne store information