Displaying items by tag: children

Savings for Parents!

Mums, dads and guardians! September is here! The children are almost back to school - will you miss your little cherubs or are you looking forward to some well-needed sanity? September also sees National Eye Health Week (18th - 24th) and to celebrate this great cause, we have a special month-long offer for you...

Children's Vision

Any parent will say how their children are their priority. However, many overlook their children's vision. If nothing is mentioned by the child we can easily assume all is well, but children can't always tell us if there is a problem with their sight. They don't know what clear vision is meant to be like! If you're a parent, when was the last time your child's vision was assessed?

Contact Lenses for Children

Did you know that almost one in five children aged 5-15 years, rising to almost one in three 16-19 year olds need vision correction yet only about one in twelve of those who could wear contact lenses currently do so. Many more children and teens would potentially benefit from contact lenses.

Coloured Overlays to Reduce Visual Stress

What are coloured overlays?

There is now scientific research to show that both coloured filters (worn as spectacles) and coloured plastic sheets laid over text (known as overlays) can help some children to read. Coloured overlays are sheets of translucent or transparent coloured plastic that can be placed over a page of a book so as to colour the text beneath without interfering with its clarity.?

What do they do?

Coloured overlays reduce the perceptual distortions of text that children sometimes describe. They enable some children to read text more fluently and with less discomfort and fewer headaches. It is important to assess the effects of a wide range of colours because individuals do not all benefit from the same colour.

What are visual perceptual distortions?

Some people can experience distortions when they look at certain materials, particularly text. The distortions of text include blurring movement of letters, words doubling, shadowy lines, shapes or colours on the page, and flickering. These distortions are characteristic of a condition that some have called Meares-lrlen Syndrome, Irlen Syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome. Individuals with migraine are particularly susceptible to the distortions.

Who benefits?

The people who benefit may be good readers, but more often they have difficulty reading. They usually suffer visual discomfort when reading and, when questioned, will often report perceptual distortions of the text. These distortions usually include apparent movement or blurring of the letters and words. Often there is a family history of migraine.

Why can someone have 'perfect eye sight' and still experience distortion?

An optometrist will report 'perfect eye sight' when someone can see a letter chart without the need for spectacles, and when there are no problems of co-ordination between the eyes. The perceptual distortions may occur quite independently of any focusing? problems, although they are often, but not always, associated with a minor problems of moving the eyes together and keeping the direction of gaze appropriately co-ordinated.

Does visual perceptual distortion occur in families, and if so, why?

Many traits run in families and visual perceptual distortions are no exception. The genetic contribution is the subject of investigation.

Are coloured overlays needed permanently?

It seems that people benefit most from colour if it is offered as soon as any reading difficulty is suspected, before the cycle of failure has begun. Many 7 year-olds appear to use coloured overlays for a year or two and then discard them as unnecessary. This may be because the acquired familiarity with text makes the distortion less distracting.

What do I do to find out if colour might help?

The optometrist will perform an examination with a pack of coloured overlays. and decide which colour, if any, reduces the reported distortions. Another way of assessing benefit is for the examiner to administer the Wilkins Rate of Reading Test .

The rate of reading words on this test is usually more than 10% higher with the chosen overlay than without for someone who will benefit from using an overlay.

Will there be a charge for these an overlay assessment?

The NHS only pays optometrists a small fee for carrying out a basic eye examination. As the assessment is of a specialist nature, requiring a separate appointment we charge a private fee for the detailed investigation of people with reading difficulties.

NHS Entitlements

Regular eye examinations are important, which is why we recommend you have an eye examination at least every two years, unless advised otherwise by your optometrist.

More than 30 million people in the UK are entitled to a free eye examination paid for by the NHS. The list below details who is automatically entitled to regular NHS sight tests.

Free Sight Exam Qualifying Criteria:

  • Over 60's
  • Children under 16 (or under 19 and in full time education)
  • Benefit claimants (income support, income based jobseekers allowance or in receipt of Working Families Tax Credit or Disabled Persons Tax Credit)
  • Diabetics
  • A Glaucoma sufferer as advised by a hospital Ophthalmologist (Ocular Hypertensive)
  • Aged 40 years or over and a close relative of someone with glaucoma
  • Registered Blind or partially sighted
  • Holders of an HC2 or HC3 certificate (HC3 may be a partial exemption from the fee)
  • Those who require a complex lens (as outlined by the NHS)

NHS Voucher Qualifying Criteria

As well as a free eye examination, you may also be entitled to some help with the purchase of glasses or contact lenses, if you are:

  • Under 16 or under 19 and still in full time education
  • Named on a valid HC2 or HC3 certificate
  • In need of complex lenses
  • You or your partner claim Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Working Family's Tax Credit/Disabled Person's Tax Credit (and are named on a NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate).

Please visit the NHS website for full details of all qualifying criteria.

Eye Care for Children

School may have only just ended across the country, but for parents, now is the time to think about your children and their vision. Why not get their eyes examined during the summer break?

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