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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

My mum thinks there's something wrong with ds's sight, can a 3 year old be sight tested?

(21 Posts)
headfairy Mon 10-Jan-11 14:05:26

Obviously he can't read, and I'm not sure he'd get the concept of a sight test. Can they check for long/short sightedness on such a young child? Quite often he closes one eye and squints with the other when he's looking at something. I'm not sure if it's for dramatic effect (he's quite a performer!) or if he's struggling to see things clearly.

snice Mon 10-Jan-11 14:07:06

Yes definitely-a friend's DD had glasses from age 1

runningmonkey Mon 10-Jan-11 14:08:10

Yes, my dd had an eye test at 11months after several people pointed out that she was still quite cross eyed! I raised it with the HV who got our GP to take a look and referred us. They do something with a camera and computer to look at how the eye is focussing I think.

Lizzylou Mon 10-Jan-11 14:08:19

Yes, DS1 was diagnosed with astigmatism at age 3 (almost 4). Ring your HV and ask her, they do eye tests at 3.5/4 round here.

They use pictures and pointing at letters on a board at this age. If there is a problem then they will refer to optometrist.

suzikettles Mon 10-Jan-11 14:09:30

Yes - routine sight tests here for 3 year olds.

Ds was followed up at the Eye Hospital after possible issues were picked up at his nursery eye screening check at 3.5

Lynli Mon 10-Jan-11 14:09:38

DGD has had a sight test at 8 weeks old.

Older DGD has sight problems.

hattiehardie Mon 10-Jan-11 14:10:39

Hi dd2 was 3 when she first got glasses. Get your GP or Health Visitor to refer you to an Orthoptist (maybe at a hospital or clinic), as they are used to seeing young children.

They do eye tests with pictures when they are this age, even babies are tested!

LadyBiscuit Mon 10-Jan-11 14:11:12

Yes of course and he'll get free glasses too. My friend's DD got her first glasses when she was three.

pooka Mon 10-Jan-11 14:12:37

Absolutely they can. DS1 was tested at about 18 months old (pictures, colours, 3d things) because he looked a bit cross-eyed occasionally and there is family history of astigmatism.

Karoleann Mon 10-Jan-11 14:14:57

At three any Optometrist (optician) can see them. They'll refer if any problems, there's no need to go through the g.p or health visitor. Eye tests are free for under 16's too.

Sirzy Mon 10-Jan-11 14:44:58

DS has had his eyes tested since he was 6 months old every 3 months. God knows how they do it but they do!

headfairy Mon 10-Jan-11 14:51:21

Lovely, thanks for all the replies... he's got an appt booked at the opticians <sob> Poor love, I hated wearing glasses when I was young but then that was such a long time ago, kids glasses were all hideous in those days <old person emoticon>

Sirzy Mon 10-Jan-11 15:05:55

The choice of glasses is so much better now than when I was a kid. I would have loved wearing the ones they can have now!

pooka Mon 10-Jan-11 20:44:53

My daughter aged 5 invented symptoms of poor eyesight because she was desperate to have glasses like her best friend. hmm

"When I read mummy all the lines go blurry into each other and I can't see the whiteboard very well."

Duly tested and no issues. grin

DS1 has not only had the toddler tests because of family history but recently was tested because is colour blind. He is recently 5.

tribpot Mon 10-Jan-11 20:49:03

My friend's 3 yo was sight tested today, and has got a pair of funky glasses that really suit him. I think he's being seen at the hospital as they have more sensitive equipment.

headfairy Mon 10-Jan-11 21:18:12

hahaha Pooka, I think I saw an episode of Charlie and Lola like that, Lola kept pretending she couldnt' see because she wanted glasses like a girl in her school!

Ihatecobwebs Mon 10-Jan-11 21:31:10

DS(3) wears glasses. He goes regularly to a local clinic for sight tests - using black outline shapes of things like a house, boot, clock, train, car, duck etc for him to call out. From there we were sent to a hospital for an indepth exam, had to have eye drops before the tests. We got his prescription, and had it filled at a child friendly local opticians (they will try to do any repairs without cost if at all possible, and cover the cost of lenses if the "voucher" does not cover them).

We now go back to the local clinic every two months to check that his brain and eyes are working together properly. (Unfortunately it looks as if he will have to have a higher prescription, if he can't see a certain line next time we go - optician gave him the benefit of the doubt last time)

SatinShoes Tue 11-Jan-11 09:32:36

As he is so young you may be better with a referral from your Health Visitor to a specialist eye unit. DD (just 4) wears glasses and is seen at the eye unit in the hospital as they have much more experience dealing with little children than a normal optician.
They do the tests using pictures and toys rather than letters at this age.

Karoleann Tue 11-Jan-11 14:31:11

We do use pictures at 3 to check visual acuity, then do something called retinoscopy which is basically wiggling a little light in front of the eye to get a prescription or see if one is needed.
If a prescription is found then we'll usually bring the little one back for drops.
Most optometrists would only refer a 3 year old on if they had a strabismus (squint), a very high prescription or have amblyopia (lazy eye).

TigerFeet Tue 11-Jan-11 14:41:04

Don't worry about the reaction of his peers if he does need glasses, dd1 was the envy of her friends when she started wearing them aged 3, one little girl was in floods of tears because she didn't have her own pair.

She has drops in her eyes and a light is then shone through lenses to get a prescription, this is done at the eye clinic at our local hospital though as she also has a lazy eye and a squint.

DD2 had her first eye test at around 8 months (due to dd1's issues) but thankfully doesn't need glasses, not yet anyway. She'll be seen every 6 months.

There is a good variety of children's frames that are free with the voucher, our local specsavers have a good range and have no objection to our regular visits to have dd1's glasses unbent.

PuppyMonkey Tue 11-Jan-11 14:44:18

My dd aged 3 has been called for her preschool eye test next week, so it must be quite a routine thing at that age.

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