Eye problems going undetected in British children

November 19, 2007

Eye problems are going undiagnosed in many children in the UK because of poor screening and the low uptake of free testing.

Eye problems are going undiagnosed in many children in the UK because of poor screening and the low uptake of free testing, according to a report by the UK Association of Optometrists.

Research found that 5% of children aged six and 10% of 12-year olds have an uncorrected eye problem, which is probably due, in part, to parents not knowing about free eye testing for the under-16s.

Common problems in children include lazy eye, squints and long- and short-sightedness. If undetected these problems could not only damage a child's eye health but also affect their social and academic development.

The Association of Optometrists, which commissioned the report with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and the Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians, called for a review of how many children have access to vision screening.