Looking after Young Eyes
Good vision is essential in childhood development and regular eye examinations are the key to good vision. Your child's eyesight deserves the highest standards of quality care. At Eric Mercer’s we provide a full professional eye care service for children, together with stylish spectacles at affordable prices. When you come to our practice, you can be sure that your family’s eyes will be examined thoroughly and plenty of time taken to discuss their visual needs. If you think your child might be short-sighted, ask us about MiSight contact lenses. These daily disposable lenses are an innovative new option proven to slow the progression of myopia in children.
Children's Eye Problems
Poor vision can have a damaging effect on a child’s ability to learn. Yet, research shows that as many as one in five children attend school with an un-diagnosed eye problem. Part of the problem is that children often don’t realize they have a sight defect. Also, there may be no obvious signs for parents and teachers to pick up on. That's why it is so important that children's eyes are tested early, so that any problems can be discovered before school starts. A large proportion of squints, for instance, develop before the age of three.
A lazy eye is a serious but treatable cause of reduced vision in children. It occurs when the vision in one eye has not developed normally. A lazy eye often results from a “turn” or squint. It can also be caused by a large difference in the degree of long-sight or short-sight between the two eyes or when one or both eyes have a large degree of astigmatism. If detected early, this condition can usually be treated successfully.
Children with long-sight (hyperopia) have difficulty focussing on near objects. For example, when reading or looking at a computer or tablet screen. Symptoms to look out for include headaches, blurred vision, eyestrain and tired eyes.
Children who have short-sight (myopia) can see things clearly up close but find distance objects blurred. The first signs include difficulties seeing the board at school or sitting too close to the TV. Myopia usually starts between 8 – 13 years of age and tends to progress through the teenage years before stabilizing. Spectacles will help your child see clearly but have no effect on slowing the progression of myopia. A new, innovative option involves fitting specialized contact lenses called MiSight. These daily disposable lenses are proven to reduce the rate of myopia progression in children as young as eight. For more info, check out our Myopia Control page or give us a call.
Astigmatism is caused by an irregular curvature of the cornea at the front of the eye. In other words, instead of being a spherical shape like a football, the eye is shaped more like a rugby ball. This causes distorted or blurred vision at distance and near. Spectacles will help by sharpening things up, allowing the vision to develop properly.
Warning signs of poor vision to look out for:
Free NHS Eye Tests
It’s never too early to get your children’s eyes checked out. In fact it is a good idea to get all children’s eyes tested before the age of 4, so that problems can be discovered before they start school. It doesn't matter if your child is too young to talk or read a letter chart. We use a range of techniques and modern equipment to detect visual problems at any age.
The earlier a problem is detected, the greater the chances of it being corrected and treated successfully. Also, children’s eyes can change quickly as they get older. So, even if nothing appears to be wrong, it is important to make sure your child has a sight test at least once a year.
Remember, it costs nothing to have your child’s eyes tested. Under the NHS, eye tests are free to all children under 16 and to full-time students under 19. So, ensure your child gets the most out of school and book an appointment today.
Glasses for young eyes
At Eric Mercer’s we stock a wide range of fashion frames suited to all ages - from pre-schoolers to teenagers. These include designer ranges like No Fear, BMX, Splash, Marvel, Spiderman and Star Wars as well as a selected range of attractive styles which are completely free.
We also stock specially designed frames for babies under 2 years old. These are light-weight and comfortable, but also strong and flexible to withstand the rough and tumble of everyday life.
Children must feel comfortable about wearing glasses - or they won't use them when they should. So we take great care to explain why glasses are important, as well as ensuring that they fit well and look good.
Contact lenses for kids
Contact lenses can be a great option for active kids - particularly for sports like football, hockey, rugby or tennis.
Contact lens technology has developed immensely in recent years, making them healthier and more comfortable than ever to wear - even for children as young as 7 or 8 years old.
Daily disposables offer unrivaled convenience for kids with busy schedules - no cleaning or disinfecting procedures are required and a fresh pair of lenses used every time they’re worn.
And for children with short-sight, our new MiSight daily disposables offer a safe and effective way to slow myopia progression.
Prescription sports goggles
Children can also benefit from prescription sports goggles. These are available in children's sizes for a wide range of sports, including football, hockey, basketball, tennis, squash and swimming.
Sports goggles are specially designed from light-weight, impact resistant materials with soft protective padding around the eyes and nose. Also, they are shaped in a curved, wraparound style to allow the widest possible field of view.