The new school year is upon us, and with that brings many changes including starting school for the very first time. Whilst preparing for the new adventure ahead, an eye examination may not have been at the top of your list, but don’t worry as your child’s eyes will be checked at school in their reception year as part of the Children’s Vision Screening.
What Is The Children’s Vision Screening?
The vision screening carried out at school checks for reduced vision in one or both eyes. This is done by a letter matching test with one eye covered with a patch or glasses with one eye blacked out. The aim is to detect any problems early so treatment can be given if needed.
If the screening suggests a more thorough eye examination is required, you will be sent a letter and referred to your local optometrist for further tests.
What Happens at The Eye Test Following a Referral?
If you have been given a letter of referral from the school, we would advise you book your child in for an eye examination.
When we book an eye examination following a referral from school, the optometrist will put in some eye drops. The eye drops will allow the muscles in the eye to be temporarily relaxed, dilating the pupils which means a more accurate reading can be taken.
We advise the eye examination will take up to an hour, this is to allow time to insert the eye drops and the pupil to dilate, and for the optometrist to complete the eye test. From the outcome of the eye test you may be advised to get a pair of glasses for your child, the optometrist will introduce you to our dispensing optician who will help you choose a pair of glasses.
Have a look at our handy PDF for more information about the eye drops and why we use them.
Is There an NHS Contribution Towards The Eye Examination and Glasses?
An eye examination for children under 16, or 16-18 in full time education is free as this is covered by the NHS
NHS glasses are no longer available, however you will be issued a voucher towards the cost of the glasses. Once you have chosen a frame, we reduce the frame cost by £40 and the lenses are covered by the voucher. There may be an additional cost for lenses if you have any coatings on them, or thinner lenses.
We advise booking these appointments in the practice or over the phone, as the appointment is different to those on the online booking. Please remember to bring all the paperwork given to you by the school and a pair of sunglasses to be worn after the eye drops have been put in.