Children have spent a considerable amount of time indoors over the last year due to the various lockdowns and home-schooling, meaning the use of digital devices and time spent doing things at a closer distance have increased dramatically. From this, many children have experienced headaches, fatigue, and changes in their vision.
Although children have not broken up from school yet, you are probably already thinking about everything they need for the school year ahead and an eye examination should be included in your list. Regular eye examinations are important for everyone, including children as our optometrists will assess the health of the eye alongside checking your prescription. There is no specific age that a child should have an eye examination, however from 3 or 4 is more than suitable unless there are any concerns about your child’s vision at a younger age.
Unless your child says anything about their vision, it can be difficult to know whether they are having any problems. There are a few signs that parents and teachers can look out for that may indicate your child is having problems with their vision.
- Squinting to focus when looking at distant objects
- Excessively rubbing the eyes
- Regular headaches or eye pain
- Sitting too close to the TV or devices
- Difficulty concentrating and copying information in school
The pandemic has affected many aspects of healthcare over the last year, including eye examinations and eye health. It is presumed that the impact of spending more time indoors and increased time on digital devices may have further contributed to the myopia epidemic. Myopia, also more commonly known as short-sightedness, is predicted to affect 50% of the global population by 2050! It is important to diagnose myopia as early as possible and advise a myopia control plan to slow the progression of the condition and prevent the development of eye conditions such as myopic maculopathy and glaucoma later in life.
Children under 16 and under 19 in full time education are entitled to an NHS eye examination each year, unless advised differently by your optometrist and will also get a contribution towards their glasses should they need any.
Speak to a member of our team today to book an eye examination or for more information about myopia and myopia control products.