Children’s Eye Examinations & Visual Stress

Good eyesight is crucial in making sure a child develops to their full potential both at school and socially.

It’s especially important to look after children’s eyes – the eye is still developing throughout early childhood so if problems are treated early, it can make a lasting difference. Yet research shows that around 20% of school-aged children have an undiagnosed vision problem.

It’s never too early to have a sight test, visiting an optometrist will mean you can spot and manage vision problems that may affect your child’s development.


How do I know if my child has an eye problem?

Some eye conditions do not display any signs or symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to take your child for a sight test. Signs which may show there is a problem with a child’s sight include:

  • An eye appearing to drift inwards or outwards
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Behavioural problems
  • Headaches
  • Sitting too close to the television/monitor or holding a tablet too close.
  • Frequent eye rubbing

Symptoms of a vision problem

This could mean your child needs glasses or that they have an eye that is healthy but does not see as well, otherwise known as a ‘lazy eye’. The condition can run in the family, so if a relative has either an eye turn (squint) or suffers from reduced vision in one or both eyes (amblyopia), it’s a good idea to take any related children for a sight test.

What is vision screening?

Some children have their vision screened at school – this is usually a basic test, designed to pick up children who have reduced vision in one or both eyes. If a problem is suspected, children will usually be referred to an optometrist for a full sight test. Parents may assume that their child has been screened at school but this does not happen in all areas of the country. Even where this does happen, it is not usually until the age of four or five, so we recommend that all children visit their optometrist for a sight test around the age of three, but we can see younger if you have any concerns.

What is a sight test?

A sight test is a comprehensive check which can pick up many other conditions, including colour vision defects, problems with the development of 3D vision, visual stress and any need for glasses.


Paying for a sight test

Children under the age of 16 are entitled to NHS-funded sight tests (covering the cost of a sight test), plus an optical voucher, which entitles you help towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses if required. Contact lenses are suited to all ages and even young children are able to wear, handle and look after their lenses.

Many children are also suitable for contact lenses; this is particularly helpful for children who take part in regular sports activities and can be successfully worn from an earlier age than you might expect.

Ask your optometrist whether contact lenses would be suitable for your child.


Large selection of Children’s Frames

We have the largest selection of free children’s frames with a choice of over 300 FREE frames and a big selection of reasonable priced designer children’s frames.

We are the only stockist of Tomato Glasses in Upminster and the surrounding area for babies/young children.

We also offer a free Anti Reflective coating on all our children’s lenses worth £40.

Always protect children’s eyes from the sun, tell them never to look directly into the sun and where possible make sure they wear good quality sunglasses that provide UV protection.


Childrens brands:






Kids Vision


Horrid Henry


Junior Fusion


Ok Frame Co.

Childrens Designer / Specialist brands:


Calvin Klein


Tomato Glasses


Roald Dahl

Stella McCartney

Visual Stress Assessment

As an accredited visual stress test centre, we can provide not only the screening test, but also the overlays and tinted lenses to the specific requirements.

Coloured overlays aim to reduce Visual Stress, the perceptual distortions experienced whilst reading text. This can increase reading fluency and speed, reduce headaches and increase the duration of comfortable reading.  The symptoms can occur despite normal vision.

Approximately 5% of the population are severely affected by Visual Stress and 20% to a lesser degree.

Visual Stress is found to exist in many conditions including:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Photosensitive Migraine
  • Photosensitive Epilepsy
  • Autism
  • ADHD


  • movement of print
  • blurring of print
  • letters changing shape or size
  • letters fading or becoming darker
  • patterns appearing, sometimes describes as “worms” or “rivers” running through print
  • illusions of colour – blobs of colour on the page or colours surrounding letters or words
  • rapid tiring
  • headache or eyestrain


  • moving closer to or away from page
  • becoming restless
  • using finger as a marker
  • skipping words and lines
  • rubbing eyes and blinking excessively
  • low self esteem

Your Eye Examination

When it’s time for your examination, you will be greeted by our experienced Optometrists who will introduce themselves and explain the exam they will be conducting.

Depending on the eye test or contact lens appointment you’re having, the whole process will take between 20 minutes and 1 hour.

During your exam your practitioner will explain what they are doing.

If you have any questions about anything being carried out then you can ask at any point during your examination.


Following your comprehensive eye test, your Optometrist will discuss recommendations with you and the Dispensing Manager. These will be based on their findings. They will vary depending on the eye examination you had and could cover anything from glasses, contact lens options or prescription sunglasses to eyedrops, dry eye assessment or corrective surgery.

You will then be taken back to the main area of the practice where we can help you with the next stage of your journey. This may be choosing frames or discussing spectacle lens or finding out more about contact lenses or any of your other recommendations.


Our care for your eyes doesn’t just stop once you leave the store. Our supportive team are always on-hand to help and advise you in any way they can.

Whether you’re looking for further information surrounding common eye conditions, would like to learn more about contact lens options, or need changes made to your frames we’d love for you to get in touch with any questions you may have.

We’ll always remind you when your next Examination is due so you know when to come back and see us.

Our team are here to help advise you at every step of the way.