Children's Eye Tests at Clear View Opticians Lincoln
Children’s Eye Tests with Clearview Opticians, Lincoln
This week we headed up to Clear View Opticians for eye examinations for the boys and to find out more about the importance of children’s eye examinations. We attended the practice on Burton Road for our children's eye examinations.
Children's Eye Tests at Clear View
Looking after your child’s eyesight is so important, but did you know that around 20% of school-aged children have an undiagnosed vision problem? To help children discover the world around them- from colours and shapes, to letters and numbers, it’s important to check eyes are performing at their optimum. Booking an eye examination with an optometrist for your little ones can help to spot and manage any vision problems and treat these early. Clear View offer children’s eye examinations from the age of 2.5 years.
Clear View Opticians, owned by director Annabelle Magee, explains:
“We are a family friendly practice providing a personal service to the highest professional standards. Our focus is providing the very best ocular health assessment and the most suitable eyewear as a result. At Clear View you experience so much more than just a ‘sight test’.”
Being a mum herself, Annabelle appreciates how intimidating an opticians can be, especially for children. Her practices deliver the high standards you would expect from an independent practice whilst still being welcoming for the younger family members.
Our Experience at Clear View Opticians
When we arrived at Clear View, we were warmly welcomed by friendly staff, as well as their lovely care dog Watson, who is there to greet children and make them feel calm. We answered a couple of questions and signed an NHS digital form. Free car parking is available next door, so it's really easy to access with young children.
Annabelle and Watson led us into the eye examination room, where the boys took it in turns to sit in the eye examination chair. Freddie and Luca were both very excited to get their eyes checked, and enjoyed having a look at the different pieces of equipment Annabelle used.
The first test was known as a ‘cover test’ which checked the eyes for squints and turns.
Annabelle then used a machine to take different photos of the eyes and to check the health of the retina, optic nerve and the retinal blood vessels. She then used a powerful microscope to look at the front and back surface of the eye. The boys loved seeing a real photo of their eyes on the screen!
Following this, the boys then did an assessment where they looked at different sized letters and/or pictures on a screen with test glasses and different strength lenses. You don’t need to wait until a child is at school or able to read as there are different options for children if they don’t know their letters. The boys enjoyed the different pictures they had to look at, and it definitely made the whole experience more lighthearted and fun!
The next test was a colour vision deficiency test, which is used to assess for colour vision problems. The test involves looking through some images and saying which number you can see within the image of coloured dots. Finally, Annabelle got the boys to turn their eyes in different directions while she looked at and assessed each eye. Each eye test was around 20 minutes and the boys found it really educational and fun!
Choosing your glasses
Even though the boys didn't need glasses this time, they were excited to try some glasses on anyway and there was a great range of styles and colours of frames to choose from. If you do require glasses, children receive an optical voucher funded by the NHS for glasses. The majority of the glasses for children at Clear View are funded by the NHS - the only time a parent would have to pay a contribution towards them is if they chose a 'designer' frame. A qualified dispensing optician uses a ruler to measure the distance between your child's eyes and makes sure the frames fit properly (adjust them to each child) and makes sure they are looking through the correct part of the glasses. The time frame for ordering glasses is roughly a week. As an independent practice, Clear View makes sure the most suitable eyewear is provided for children and can order in specific frames for toddlers / babies / sports specific frames / children's prescription sunglasses / prescription swimming goggles for children etc.
Signs that your child may need an eye test
Although it’s recommended that children have an eye test from around the age of 2.5 to 3, it’s worth also looking out for these clues (from nhs.co.uk):
- the eyes not pointing in the same direction
- complaining of headaches or eye strain
- problems reading – for example, they may need to hold books close to their face and they may lose their place regularly
- problems with hand-eye co-ordination – for example, they may struggle to play ball games
- being unusually clumsy
- regularly rubbing their eyes
- sitting too close to the TV
There are a number of different eye problems that can be detected during eye tests, including:
- Childhood cataracts – cloudy patches in the lens of the eye that are present from birth
- Lazy eye (amblyopia) – where the vision in one eye does not develop properly
- Squint (strabismus) – where the eyes look in different directions
- Short-sightedness (myopia) – where distant objects appear blurred, while close objects can be seen clearly
- Long-sightedness (hyperopia) – where you can see distant objects clearly but nearby objects are out of focus
- Astigmatism – where the transparent layer at the front of the eye (cornea) is not perfectly curved
- Colour vision deficiency (colour blindness) – difficulty seeing colours or distinguishing between different colours; this is more common in boys than girls
- Retinoblastoma - a rare type of cancer that can affect young children
NHS Funded Eye Tests and Glasses
Making sure our children’s eyesight and eye health is at its best is crucial . The way children see the world around them can affect so many things, from school to social activities and sport. The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) has highlighted the importance of parents resuming eye examinations for their children, as research has found that concern over eye health is at its lowest point in 8 years.
We are very lucky that here in the UK, children under the age of 16 are entitled to NHS funded eye tests and an optical voucher towards the cost of glasses for children. It’s so important to get children’s eyes tested regularly so they can get the best possible start at school. The NHS website states that “Children can have an eyesight test at any age. They do not need to be able to read, or even speak. An eyesight test is particularly important if there's a history of childhood eye problems, such as squint or lazy eye, in your family.” (nhs.co.uk).
NHS Funded Eye Tests at Clear View Opticians
The children's eye exams at Clear View Opticians are funded by the NHS so come at no cost to parents. We were really impressed with our overall experience at Clear View. The staff were welcoming and the eye examinations themselves were relaxed and child friendly. The boys found the eye test educational and really fun too! We’d highly recommend booking an appointment at Clear View.
You can find out more about Clear View Opticians on their website here or call to make an appointment on 01522 542121.
*We were kindly invited along to attend a free children's eye test at Clear View Opticians in Lincoln in exchange for our honest review.