Each week around 10 children are diagnosed with brain tumours in the UK. There are many symptoms that could indicate a brain tumour such as headaches, vomiting and difficulty with balance. There are also signs that can be picked up during a routine eye examination including abnormal and uncontrolled eye movements, blurred or double vision, deteriorating vision and swelling of the optic disc.
The majority of the time when a child presents any of these symptoms, the diagnosis is not a brain tumour, however an optometrist with the appropriate training will be able to make a judgment over whether more investigation is required and will refer the child accordingly. Having recently taken part in Headsmart training to increase our awareness of paediatric brain tumours, we have the expertise to know when we should refer a child or when there is another explanation to the presenting signs.
This is just another reason why we are so eager to encourage parents to get their child’s eyes examined regularly. A comprehensive eye examination will last around an hour, during which time numerous tests will be carried out in a bid to establish whether your child has any issues with their vision but will also look at some wider health conditions.
A recent study by Blind UK found that still approximately two million parents have never taken their child to an optometrist or optician, with many assuming children will have their eyes examined at school. This is not always the case and the basic test performed in schools does not include in-depth analysis of a child’s eye health as the optician will not have the equipment on hand for a comprehensive eye examination.
If you’re child hasn’t had their eye examined in the last two years, please book them an appointment today with a qualified optometrist.