If you are a parent of a younger child, then you already have enough on your plate. There are already plenty of things to worry about – are they walking and talking soon enough; are they going to get that place at the highly sought-after nursery; are you sure everything in the home is properly child-proofed – without throwing their eyesight development into the mix.
But unfortunately, it really is important, and it’s not something that you can get away with forgetting about. And it’s easy to forget; after all, how would a child be able to tell you that they think their eyesight is deteriorating? How will you be able to tell if they are struggling to see?
Well, first of all, here are the potential warning signs – they’re the things you should be looking out for.
The Warning Signs
There are a number of different symptoms you should be keeping an eye out for, especially as younger children are not going to be able to communicate to you about the state of their eyesight. It is likely that they will not experience any problems, but if you know the signs that can indicate a problem, you can at least rest easy.
And of course, the sooner something is found, the sooner treatment can start. So here is what to be watchful for:
An increase in squinting or blinking
Sitting closer to the television
Holding objects up close to the face
By themselves, none of these symptoms should give you any real cause for concern. But they can, of course, mean that there is another problem at play, so you should definitely make an appointment with a GP or an orthoptist.
Why Regular Eye Tests for Children Are Important
Eye tests check the health of your child’s eyes. They can pick up symptoms of a wide variety of eye conditions, long before your child might even experience them.
Of course, the main thing that a vision test will pick up on is the visual acuity of the patient – how good their eyesight is. So deteriorating vision – whatever the cause – will be diagnosed here, and also treated.
However, there are also a number of other conditions that can be detected early by a regular eye test. Conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, and even diabetes, can all cause symptoms to present themselves within the eye, and can therefore be spotted by an ophthalmologist.
Children’s vision in particular can change rather rapidly; hence the importance of regular eye checks. You should take your children to the optician as often as you would the dentist: once every six months to a year.
And there’s an extra incentive to getting in plenty of appointments while they’re young – up to the age of 16, children can get an eye test on the NHS, meaning it is completely free.
Fortunately for us, eye tests are simple to book. You can pop into your local branch of any leading brand of opticians, or you can just visit their website and book online. So there’s no excuse to delay it any longer!