Warrington and Halton Hospitals

Vision Assessment

Vision Assessment for children born prematurely or with a low birth weight

About this service:

This is a specific clinic set up for children around the age of 3yrs who were born prematurely by more than 8 weeks or were born with a low birth weight of less than 1501g.

They will be automatically invited for an eye test and will be examined by an Orthoptist and an Optometrist on the day of their appointment before they reach 3yrs old.

The reason we have this specialist clinic is because there is a higher incidence of squint (an eye which turns) and refractive error (need for glasses)

Our facilities:

A child will be invited by letter to attend the Warrington Hospital for an eye test with the Orthoptist and an eye examination with the Optometrist

They will be seen first by the Orthoptist for their visual assessment they will then need eye drops put in to each eye (1% Cyclopentalate) to dilate their pupils in order for the Optometrist to do an eye examination. See information attached below.

What are the waiting times?

You will be sent an invitation by letter to attend an appointment at the hospital before they reach 3yrs old.

Please ring the department on 01925 662772 to arrange a convenient appointment.

Who’s in the team?

Orthoptist :- What is an Orthoptist?

An Orthoptist is an eye specialist who has been trained to test children’s vision by showing them letters and or pictures and asking them what they are or showing them cards with pictures on and the Orthoptist will observe the child’s eye movements.

They will also assess how a child’s eyes work together.

The Orthoptists role is to be able to investigate, diagnose and treat defects of binocular vision and abnormalities of eye movement. Their work involves seeing patients of all ages from infants to the elderly.

They have been specially trained to obtain a vision assessment from children or adults who are unable to verbally communicate, so if your child is unable to speak the assessment can still be carried out.

Optometrist:- What is an Optometrist?

An Optometrist is a non-medical eye specialist who is responsible for maximising vision through prescribing spectacles, contact lenses or other visual aids. An Optometrist also examines eyes to detect abnormalities of the eye or vision system.

The Optometrist will check the health of a child’s eyes and decide if spectacles will be beneficial or not.

You will be informed on the day of the results of the tests and when and if they need to be seen again and who will need to see them.

A letter will be sent the GP to inform them of the outcome.

We strive to provide a Gold standard service and patient feedback is always well received and your comments took on board so we regularly perform a patient / parent satisfaction survey.

Other Information and Downloads:

(Leaflet attached here)

(Information on cyclopentalate eye drops)


Referral information:

If a child falls within the specific criteria of:

Being born prematurely by more than 8 weeks or were born with a low birth weight of less than 1501g.

The neonatal team will automatically send a referral to the Orthoptic team

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