A first eye test can be a little daunting for children and their parents, but we try to make it as comfortable as possible for all of our patients – especially the little ones.
Alfie, aged 3, came along for an eye test with his mum Samantha last week. Samantha couldn’t find much information about when children’s eyes should be first examined or how optometrists measure children’s vision before she called the practice to book an appointment.
So, she offered to talk to us about Alfie’s experience so other parents and carers (and their children) will know what to expect.
In part 1, Samantha described what happened during Alfie’s eye test.
After Alfie’s eye test, we were taken over to the area where the children’s frames were displayed and introduced to Christine, the Dispensing Optician who measured Alfie’s eyes again.
Then he was let loose to try on as many frames as he wanted! Because Alfie is so young most of them were too big for him, but Christine had a chat with me about the options available.
She gave some great advice on frames. I initially thought plastic frames would be best for Alfie and Christine offered to source some that were small enough but we eventually went for metal. As Christine said, if metal frames get twisted, they can be bent back into shape, which is great for smaller children!
Christine explained the NHS payment system to me as well. Children receive £40 off their frame costs and free lenses. But lenses can be upgraded with anti-glare finishes or blue-light filters if needed. We went for plastic, shatter-resistant lenses.
We paid the outstanding amount on his spectacles and Christine told me that they would be in touch when Alfie’s frames were ready so that we could come for a fitting.
It was a really easy process. I received a text on the Friday, asking me to call the practice regarding Alfie’s spectacles. I called early Monday afternoon and took Alfie to the practice later that day for his fitting.
In part 3, Samantha will talk about the frame fitting process.