Optometrists can usually assume that an adult in the consulting chair will be straightforward about their problems and will try to give honest answers during the eye examination. The same does not always apply to children!
Some try to pretend they cannot see – perhaps because the parent is putting them under pressure to achieve at school or perhaps just to get attention. Some want glasses because their friend at school has them.
In the typical scenario, the child will make a great play of screwing up their eyes and leaning forward but can apparently only read the biggest letters on the chart or none at all. There are various clinical techniques to determine their true ability to see but bribery can often work wonders. The child unable to read any letters on the chart can suddenly read the bottom line if offered 5p per letter or a sweet incentive. Parents are often shocked that their child could be so mercenary!
Other children, who fear they will be given glasses, try to remember letters on the bottom line as they walk in or will report that any lens placed before their eye makes the chart look more blurred. Often these children have been given a very negative image of glasses from their parents and react accordingly. Saying to your child that you, “so hope they won’t need glasses”, before the eye examination is just asking for trouble.
Optometrists at Leightons will be really friendly and make the eye examination a positive and fun experience for your child. The children’s eye test is adapted to age & ability and your child should go away with a real sense of achievement and asking how soon they can come again. This is important because regular eye exams can pick up conditions that can cause problems at school.
We place great emphasis on the quality of the children’s eye examination and our optometrists have long appointment times so that your child will not feel rushed and you will have plenty of time to ask questions.
Most parents are told that their child has healthy, normal eyes but, if children’s glasses are needed, your child will be seen by a registered dispensing optician. Finding a pair that is comfortable and your child wants to wear is crucial. We try very hard to make the whole process a pleasure for you and your child.
Leightons offer free eye examinations under the NHS for children up to 16 years (or 19 years if in full-time education) and offer an attractive range of children’s glasses at no charge with the NHS voucher.
If the glasses later need adjusting – children are not terrific at looking after them – we will do this without any fuss and at no charge.