Children’s vision screening study launched at University of Huddersfield eye clinic

The new research will involve offering free vision screening for more than 1000 primary school children in Kirklees


University Valli Opticians, at the University of Huddersfield, is seeking to raise awareness of children’s eye health, as part of a new research study that will offer free vision screening for more than 1000 primary school children in Kirklees.

The university eye clinic, an enterprise partnership between the University’s Professor John Siderov and Moin Valli, managing director of Valli Opticians, is highlighting the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of amblyopia.

Dr Sarah Waugh and Emma Martindale, from the University’s Centre for Vision across the Life Span (CVLS), are conducting research to find out the visual acuity of children of different ages, through how well they see small letters, as well as their ability to distinguish between closely-spaced letters like those within a word, and how well these measures of vision relate to reading speed.

The tests carried out will fulfil the normal NHS vision screening protocol for children aged four to five years old, but will also test further aspects of vision and reading on a wider range of children, from ages three up to 11 years old.

The researchers hope to discover how skills for these tests develop with age and the impact on learning to read. In future, the researchers hope to expand the research to include tests of hearing and sound discrimination.

The study’s vision screening programme is underway, with children from Lepton’s C of E Primary School in Fenay Bridge, Kirklees, the first to take part.

Waugh shared: “The children at the school thoroughly enjoyed participating in the research. The results of this project will be invaluable in helping us to understand the relationship between the development of key visual and reading skills.”

Screening is also set to take place at Mount Pleasant Primary, Marsden Junior School, New Mill Infants, Kirkburton C of E, and Birkby Infants & Nursery School.