Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999.

Spotting signs of an eye problem

  • Date published:

  • Author: oliverkyle

The following can be clues that your child is having problems with their eyesight:

  • The eyes don’t point in the same direction
  • They complain of headaches or tired eyes
  • They experience problems reading – for example, they may need to hold books close to their face and they may lose their place regularly
  • They have problems with hand-eye co-ordination – for example, they may struggle to play ball games
  • They seem unusually clumsy
  • You can see them rubbing their eyes regularly

If you spot any of these signs, make an appointment with an optician as soon as possible. It’s important for eye problems to be identified as early as possible because they can have a significant impact on a child’s development and education.

Free NHS sight tests are available at opticians for children under 16 and for young people under 19 in full-time education.

Eye problems are often much easier to treat if detected while a child’s vision is still developing (usually up to about seven or eight years of age). An early diagnosis will help to ensure that you and your child have access to any special support services you may need.