Opticians Blog: Peter's Vision
It never ceases to amaze me when I read the figures comparing the number of children going to see a Dentist with those going to see an Optician. Not wishing to bore you with statistics, I will just say that the reported numbers are largely in favour of the dental checks. Why perhaps? Well I am not sure we know for definite. Certainly I am pleased so many parents regularly book dental checks for their children, why not book children’s vision and eye health checks too?
Around 80% of learning is thought to be visual, knowing this it can only be a good thing having your children's vision checked at least once a year. Mind you, by vision check I do not mean asking a child ‘can you see the plane in the sky’ - which in my eighteen years working is probably the most common explanation I am given by parents for their child not needing to see an Optician!
Would you not rather have a highly trained and dedicated professional check the vision and eye health of the children in your family? The NHS even fund children’s visits to the Optician, and at Turners Opticians we give children two free pairs of glasses with their NHS optical voucher.
Children with reading or writing difficulties in particular those who report jumbly, wobbly or blurry words, really should have very regular visits to the Optician. I remember when I was at school two of my classmates having tinted glasses, which are often prescribed to aid a child’s reading and school work. We offer this coloured lenses and coloured overlay assessment at Turner Opticians. It has many names including; dyslexic vision assessment, scotopic sensitivity and Meares Irlen syndrome. I have a particular interest in offering this service, I am only too aware of the problems that dyslexic children can experience learning to read and write.
Thorough eye care for a child should also detect signs of visual fatigue, where using our two eyes together is much harder than it need be, often due to a prescription or eye muscle imbalance between the eyes. It has been said that for a child with visual fatigue the extra effort required to concentrate on reading and writing during the school day is equivalent to walking a few miles. Often a short course of eye exercises or glasses to strengthen the vision system can relieve this fatigue. One of my younger patients was heard to exclaim to her Dad as she tried on her glasses for the first time ‘oh so this is how everyone else sees!’
Since writing this blog, I have been asked how you can arrange appointments for your family with us at Turners Opticians. Well, we have tried to make this easy, you can choose from the tech option of online booking via our website (using a phone, tablet or computer), email us a request, pick up the telephone or just come on in for a friendly welcome!
I hope you all enjoy a wonderful summer, particularly our children who are on their well earned summer holidays!
I look forward to seeing you soon!
Peter Turner is the lead Optometrist at Turners Opticians in Fishponds and also works part time as
a Senior Optometrist at the Bristol Eye Hospital.