CHILDREN’S EYE EXAMINATIONS
Much of a child’s learning is done visually and at a close range, so good vision is very important even at a young age.
The optometrist amends the tests they do to suit the age and abilities of the child. Even children who can not name the letters of the alphabet are able to have their eyes tested. We check how well a child can see in the distance and up close, as well as assessing how well the eyes work together for 3D vision, and changing focus. Another important part of the examination is checking the health of the eyes. Just like adults, children can suffer from eye diseases and abnormalities. It is also possible for children to have congenital problems like cataracts which may need to be treated for your child to reach their visual potential.
In some cases, cycloplegic eye drops are used to relax the focusing muscles of the eyes and let the optometrist assess the prescription more accurately. This is particularly helpful for very young children who would not be able to understand some of the more advanced tests used on adults.
If your child does need to wear glasses, finding a frame that is comfortable, sturdy and attractive is important. This will mean that they will want to wear their glasses and can benefit from improved visual clarity. At Matamata Visioncare we have a wide range of children’s frames for all ages and budgets.
The current school vision checks, although well done in the Waikato, are basic vision screening. They do not test for near vision, visual tracking, depth perception or ocular health. Because of this, a full eye examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist is a great idea if you have any concerns about your child’s vision.
Enable NZ provides a subsidy which can help with the cost of your child’s vision test, glasses, and repairs. The subsidy is available to any of your children aged 15 years or under, but only if you or your child has a current Community Services Card or High Use Health card issued by the GP.
The subsidy amount is $287.50 (incl GST) and an extra $51.11 (incl GST) is available for children who need an adult sized frame. This subsidy is available every 12 months. Conditions apply.
In December 2014 new prescription guidelines were issued which excluded some of the lower power prescriptions from the Enable scheme. In practice most but not all spectacles are subsidised, we will advise you at the eye exam appointment. Exam fees are subsidised.
At Matamata Visioncare we can apply for this subsidy on your behalf – all you need to do is make an appointment for your child’s vision to be tested by our optometrist or bring in a prescription and your community services card.