Do you remember getting your eyes tested as a kid?
Maybe you spent a long time in a blurry world before realising that this wasn’t perhaps ‘normal’ and that copying off the person you sat next to in class because you couldn’t see the board wasn’t what everyone was doing?
Or maybe you had excellent eyesight and an eye test just wasn’t a thing you had done because of that?
Children often don’t know they have bad eyesight
It can be hard to know what good vision is like, and kids, especially younger ones, don’t really know what ‘normal’ looks like because they can only see, well, what they can see - they don’t know any different!
Sometimes children can have eye problems that mean only one eye is seeing well, and this ‘good eye’ masks the fact the other is not so sharp - a condition called amblyopia - which, if picked up early enough, can be very treatable.
Sometimes they struggle with seeing the board because they're shortsighted, or they can get tired or suffer with headaches or eye ache because of an uncorrected prescription.
Eye tests are for more than just your child's vision
Some eye problems can run in families, so if this is the case for you it can be extra important to get your small person checked over.
Good eyesight is crucial for children achieving their best at school and for them enjoying their leisure activities.
Even if your son or daughter feels like they have great vision, it is still very well worth them coming for a sight test. Your optometrists can make sure that both eyes are not only seeing well, but also that they're working well together and that they're healthy.
Your kids’ eyes can be tested from any age
Children’s eyes can be tested from any age.
It doesn’t matter if they don’t know their letters yet, or even if they can answer the optician's questions or not, there are lots of games that can be played and fun things that can be done to find out what your child can see and whether or not they need a little help.
It’s not just the dry ‘read the letter chart’ experience you may have had when you were younger - the littlest to the biggest kids very much enjoy getting their eyes tested these days!
What happens if your child needs glasses?
If it turns out your child does need their eyesight corrected there are options there with both spectacles or contact lenses.
Read our guide on perfectly fitted children's glasses in 4 easy steps
Spectacles are insanely fashionable these days, but if your child isn’t keen on the idea or perhaps, they're very sporty, then contact lenses can be a fantastic option. And yes! They can be fitted for even very young children!
And kid's specs come in such a huge array of styles and colours there really is a frame to suit all. Kids these days do not have to put up with the ‘dreaded’ NHS selection of frames anymore (Brown and orange polka dot frames be gone!)
The cherry on the eye test cake - just to make it even better - is that kids are also eligible for an NHS paid for sight test, and they get some help with the cost of their spectacles should they need them.
If you are wondering whether your child needs an eye test or you have any concerns over their vision or the health of your eyes, do not hesitate to contact your local optician. Their friendly teams are trained children's eye specialists and are more than happy to give you advice.