By Stuart Aitchison
A classic game that we’ve all played is ye old ‘staring competition’. An uninterrupted look into someone else’s eyes, the game lost by the one that blinks first. As optometrists, our job is one big staring competition and our favourite contestants are your children!
At National Pharmacies Optical we believe strongly in the importance of your children’s eye health in their development. So you might be interested to find out, what are we actually looking at when we’re staring into your child’s eyes! And what can you, as their parent, also help look for.
Are they squinting or frowning?
When a child is struggling with their vision they will often squint or frown, which is the body’s way of trying to achieve focus. If you see your child doing this when reading, on the computer or watching television, an eye test is a good idea.
Are they tilting their head or moving it from side-to-side?
Children are remarkable at finding ways to cope with not seeing properly – without even realising they’re doing it! Moving their head up and down, side to side, or holding it on a tilt while concentrating is another sign they’re struggling to see clearly.
Do their eyes look red or irritated?
If you see your child rubbing their eyes regularly, or they complain of ‘sore eyes’ there can be lots of reasons (for example, hay fever) but dry, irritated eyes can be another sign that something isn’t 100% with their vision or overall eye health.
Are both their eyes focused on the same spot?
It’s an interesting fact that each of our eyes can develop at a different rate to the other, meaning it’s not uncommon that at any stage of your child’s development, they may be struggling to focus. Correcting this can be as simple as some at-home eye exercises, but a proper eye test will determine the best course of treatment.
What can they tell us?
The most important part of our ‘staring competition’ will be actually talking to your child about how they see the world.
In a child’s eye test at National Pharmacies Optical we will talk to you about your concerns, but it will be the conversation we have with your child, combined with the tests that we do, that can help us to determine how your child can have the brightest outlook on life.
And the best part is if your child does need glasses to support their vision, as a family member of National Pharmacies, your child will receive a FREE pair of glasses every year until they turn thirteen.
Yes, FREE. Now that’s a word worth staring at!
To book your child”s appointment head online nationalpharmacies.com.au/2020by2020