Sarah Fahey having her eyes cheked at OPSM.
Sarah Fahey having her eyes cheked at OPSM. Bruce Thomas

Need a check-up? The eyes have it

KIDS’ eyes are in focus and ready to read thanks to OPSM’s Eye Love Books initiative.

To encourage eye-health in children, OPSM are offering registered schools $5 worth of library books for every student tested and so far 80 schools have registered.

OPSM Toormina store manager David Fahey said the initiative is not about selling glasses but about children’s eye-health and the program is being run in conjunction with the Australian Department of Education.

“OPSM conducted research into eye health and found parents think a hair cut is more important than an eye test before sending their kids back to school,” he said.

Mr Fahey said learning difficulties were associated with poor sight.

The research found one in five parents have never taken their children for an eye test and only eight per cent think good vision has the biggest impact on their child’s ability to do well in class.

Toormina optometrist Logan Karrie said children do not notice the difficulties they are having or think they are normal and do not speak up. “Poor eye sight can cause kids to underachieve because they have trouble learning and reading or they might get headaches at school and it is preventable with early detection,” he said.

Mr Karrie identified warning signs as: sitting closer than 2-3 metres from the television, having poor coordination or bumping into things, holding reading material very close or squinting when looking at distant objects.

Medicare card-holders are entitled to an eye test every two years.

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