CHILDREN’S EYE CARE
Athlone Opticians are on a mission to educate parents on the importance of an eye examination in early childhood. 80% of a child’s learning is visual, yet research has shown that one in five school children have undetected eye problems, as a result, many children cannot reach their full potential.
We recommend all children should have a full eye examination by the age of 3, or sooner if any problems are suspected, and every year thereafter until they reach 16 years. Eyesight finishes developing at age 8 so any visual defects can become permanent if not treated in early childhood.
Many parents feel their child needs to be able to talk or know their letters before having an eye exam, this is not the case! At Athlone Opticians we have a range of techniques and modern equipment to accurately assess vision in children of any age. Visual screenings carried out in school do not replace a full eye examination carried out by a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist.
A child may not tell you if they have a problem as children assume that the way they see the world is normal as they have never known any different. Please see the following list for typical signs to watch out for.
Typical warning signs to look out for:
One eye turns in or out
Complains of frequent headaches
Frequently rubs eyes or blinks a lot
Tilting or turning the head to favour a dominant eye
Screws up eyes when doing concentrated work
Avoids reading, writing or drawing
Has difficulty catching a ball or generally clumsy
Fails to make expected progress at school
Complains of double vision
Holding book too close
Losing track when reading or may use finger to keep track of words
At Athlone Opticians we stock a wide range of frames specially designed for children which are durable yet lightweight for extra comfort. The frame consultation is as important as the eye exam itself as there is no point in your child wearing glasses if they are looking over the frame and not through the lens.
We will provide expert advice and guidance and if we don’t have the perfect frame fit in stock we will order it in for you. We always recommend a spare set of glasses in case or emergency. Contact our team to book your child’s eye exam or frame consultation.
Children and contact lenses
There is no minimum age for wearing contact lenses. The most important question is whether your child is mature and motivated enough to wear and care for their lenses properly. If they are showing responsibilty at home and school they may well be ready. At Athlone Opticians we regularly fit patients as young as 8 years old with contact lenses, usually to control myopia progression which is known as myopia control.
Contact lenses are a fantastic option for children who are involved in sport as they provide all round vision meaning children can detect objects out of the corner of their eye and they can also take part in sport without the fear of prescription glasses breaking.
Contact lenses can also boost self esteem, in one clinical study 80% of parents agreed that contact lenses improved their child’s confidence. They are also affordable as they can be worn daily or on special occasions meaning you can control cost.
Athlone Opticians have partnered with Cooper Vision and are trained to fit MiSight contact lenses which are proven to reduce the rate of myopia progression in children as young as 8 years old. To read more about MiSight Myopia Control contact lenses please click here.