Research reveals blind spot on children’s vision

One in five adults are unaware that children need regular eye tests, research by Optegra Eye Health Care shows

07 Sep 2017 by Selina Powell

An online study has revealed that only three in ten survey participants think a child falling behind on school work may indicate that they need an eye test.

Optegra Eye Health Care commissioned Censuswide to survey 2110 adults in January, including 101 GPs and optomerists.

Researchers found that one in five adults were unaware that children need regular eye tests.

The study highlighted that red flags suggesting the need for an eye test are also likely to be missed, with 45% of those surveyed not realising that a child sitting close to the television may need to get their sight checked.

The tell-tale signs of struggling to see the whiteboard and difficulty with reading were also likely to be missed as revealed by 30% of respondents.

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) recommends that a child has their first sight test around the age of three.

AOP clinical and regulatory officer, Farah Gatrad, said that good vision was essential to a child’s development.

“We know there are lots of costs for parents around this time of year, however children under the age of 16 can have their sight test funded by the NHS, and receive vouchers towards the cost of glasses.”

All school children up to the age of 16 are eligible for a free annual eye test, while 16 to 18-year-olds who are in full-time education are also eligible for a free sight check.

Dr Clare O’Donnell, from Optegra Eye Health Care, shared: “A simple, quick and free eye test can reassure you that your child’s vision is as good as it can be, or recommend glasses if necessary. If children cannot see clearly, working with a whiteboard or close-up paperwork can prove a huge and avoidable challenge.”

Image credit: Lucelia Ribeiro


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