Before children go to school, it is the responsibility of the Health Visitor to detect defects in a child’s eyesight.
What safeguards are available to identify and correct any eyesight problems children may develop during their school years?
State school clinics, which were often the first line in spotting visual difficulties in children, have all but disappeared due to progressive cuts in funding. Now parents are advised to use the local optician if they have any concerns about a child’s eyesight.
Sadly, what was a medically driven service, has been replaced by a purely retail one.
The good news is that most children’s eye problems are nothing more than refractive errors that can be corrected by prescription spectacles.
However there are still some children who should actually be seeing a medically qualified ophthalmologist, rather than a retail optician. Misdiagnosis or an undetected complaint can cause not just medical problems for the child, but can also cause significant disruption to the child’s education.
Under the directorship of Dr Jonathan Whittle FRCS FRCOphth, we provide a completely integrated screening, medical ophthalmic and optical dispensing service for school children of any age.
This service can be provided on the school premises, or in our extensively equipped surgery.
This means that the parent, school and perhaps most importantly, the child, has an easily accessible, one stop, medically qualified solution available locally. What’s more, we offer regular ongoing screening and monitoring if required.
We not only provide state of the art ophthalmic services and facilities, but we also have the very latest contact lens technologies and as you might expect, a superb selection of spectacle frames to choose from. (Having children ourselves, we know how important it is to keep an eye on the latest fashions.)
The cost of eye examinations is borne by the NHS. If spectacles are needed a significant part of the cost is defrayed by the NHS voucher system.
Macular degeneration is something that will affect most of us in later life and influencing factors include a lifetime exposure to ultraviolet and near violet light. It is vital we protect the next generation and therefore particularly important for children as around 80% of damage from UV and blue light occurs before the age of 18.
As a result of this Optical Solutions now incorporates UV protection in all it’s spectacles for adults and children.
Should further information be required about ophthalmic care for children, please do not hesitate to contact us.
You might be surprised by what you learn!