OPTICIANS are using the start of the new school year as an opportunity to inform parents and children of the importance of regular eye tests.

At the start of term, they recommend that parents take their children to a professional who can check their vision and take the right measures to ensure that their eyesight is not holding them back.

Poor vision can inhibit learning and hold them back from performing well in sports.

Juan Carlos Martinez Moral, president of the General Council of Colleges of Opticians-Optometrists (CGCOO), said: “As vision can often change during your school career, it is important to have regular eye examinations by an optician-optometrist.

‘LAZY EYE’: Advice to get kids’ eyes tested once a year

“By having your eyes tested at least once a year, you can rule out refractive problems such as long-sightedness, short-sightedness, or astigmatism; binocular vision abnormalities such as strabismus, or amblyopia, popularly referred to as ‘lazy eye’.

Francisco Jurado from optical group Specsavers Opticas agreed: “We have seen a high number of children needing glasses across our opticians in Spain and experts around the world are reporting a sharp increase in myopia in young children.

“The difficulty with children with poor eyesight is they often don’t realise there is anything wrong before it is identified in an eye test.

“This means they struggle unnecessarily at school and can be misdiagnosed with learning difficulties simply because of their poor vision.

“To avoid issues like these, we also recommend yearly eye tests for children before they go to full-time education and incorporating an eye test into the ‘Back to School’ routine to pick up any changes early, before it starts to affect their learning.”

SCHOOL: The new term is a good time to book in for an eye test

According to charity ONCE, they have 4,245 members aged 18 and under who are suffering from low vision or blindness and studies show that one out of every four children has an undetected vision problem that may inhibit their progress.

Common eye conditions can all be identified with a complete eye test.

The sooner that vision problems are detected, the better the outcome.

Conditions such as squint and amblyopia (lazy eye) can be treated more effectively if they are picked up earlier.

Book a Back to School eye test at Specsavers Opticas during September and see their range of glasses which are specially designed for children, including a new range of Toy Story glasses. To find your nearest store visit www.specsavers.es

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