We’ve seen many posts on social media recently where parents are asking what they can expect in their child’s first eye examination, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to let you know what happens here at Cameron Optometry.
Making an appointment
We recommend your child has their first eye examination in their pre-school year, around four-years-old, however if you have any concerns about their vision or if you notice a squint (turn) in their eye, then we see little ones from birth, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Your child will have a very basic eye screening at school, usually when they are in primary one, however this is a test of vision only and does not test for their eye health, so even if they ‘pass’ they should still visit an optometrist and thereafter visit every two years, even if they have no obvious issues. A comprehensive eye examination will check for so much more than solely whether a patient can see well. An eye examination can indicate the early stages of eye disease, as well as giving insights into the health of the brain and other areas of the body.
When you are preparing your child, let them know it will be fun! We have adapted all our tests to make it a relaxed and enjoyable experience for children, whilst ensuring we still get an in depth picture of their eye health and vision. We are able to hone a huge amount of information during the appointment, issues with their vision, whether they have any colour-deficiency, examining the health of their eyes and various other checks.
We have a box of tricks for children to explore. Monster shaped torches that your little one will help switch on by giving them a good bash on the head, cuddly frogs to focus on, books filled with various pictures, matching games, flower-shaped glasses to wear and more. For the majority, if not all, of the appointment, they can sit on the floor or in the examination chair, wherever they feel most comfortable.
Whilst we provide a comprehensive eye examination for all children, we also never perform unnecessary tests. If we feel additional scans are required, we will do them, but we want to ensure it is always a positive experience for children so will not perform any tests that aren’t required. Likewise, you may have heard of children having eye drops in their examination. These are used to dilate the eye, and relax their focussing to allow for a better examination of how they are seeing. Again, we would get an indication from the initial tests and only use the drops if there was cause for further investigation.
What if my child needs glasses?
We fit glasses and contact lenses to children on a daily basis. We have a bespoke range of frames from various independent designers to suit all ages, tastes and budgets. There is no hurry. Children can take their time looking at themselves in the mirror before deciding on a pair that they love. With specialist expertise in contact lenses, we also regularly fit lenses to children as young as five-years-old and will chat you through all the options available.
And remember, eye examinations for children in full-time education are free, so please ensure your children visit an optometrist on a regular basis.