Better Care

Your First Appointment with the Orthoptist and Optometrist

At this appointment, your child will first see the Orthoptist who will test your child’s vision to confirm the result of the school eye test. If a problem is still suspected, the Orthoptist will put some drops in your child’s eyes.

The drops will make your child’s pupils larger and paralyse their focussing, making their vision blurred. This blurred vision will last for the rest of the day. Your child can go back to school after the appointment as long as the teacher knows that he/she has had the drops in.

If you notice that their pupils are still large, the morning after this appointment, do not worry, the drops sometimes take longer to wear off the pupils than the focussing – your child will be able to see and the pupils will return to normal gradually.

When the drops have worked (about 20-30 minutes), your child will see the Optometrist who will test to see if glasses are needed. The drops are used to make this test easier and more accurate.

The Optometrist will also check inside your child’s eyes to make sure they are healthy.

Although the appointment does not often take more than one hour, there is sometimes a wait to see the Optometrist, so you should be prepared to be at the clinic for two hours. Also, it can take longer for the drops to work, especially in children with dark brown eyes. This can also make the appointment longer.

The Optometrist will tell you the results of the test and will give you some forms to sign and explain what you need to do with them.

Further Appointments

If your child is ordered glasses at this appointment, you will be sent an appointment for four month’s time. This is to see how they are getting on with the glasses and how much difference the glasses are making to them.

If your child is not ordered glasses at this appointment, they may still need to be kept under review to ensure that their vision is developing properly.

The appointments to see the orthoptist only do not include having drops put in and take 10-15 minutes.

If you cannot attend this appointment, please let us know as soon as possible and another appointment will be sent to you. If you miss two appointments without letting us know, your child will automatically be discharged from the care of the Paediatric Eye Service.

Remember: The glasses are to be worn full-time

If you have any comments, queries or complaints about the Paediatric Eye Service, you can contact any of the Orthoptists or Customer Services (formerly PALS).