Children’s Eye Care Services At Nicholson Eyecare With Maria Wheeler

Children’s Eye Care Services At Nicholson Eyecare With Maria Wheeler

Here at Nicholson Eyecare, we understand the importance of children’s eye health and provide comprehensive eyecare services specifically tailored for children. Our team of experienced opticians and staff are dedicated to ensuring that your child’s eyes are healthy, and their vision is optimal.

Maria Wheeler (our Neuro-developmental Optometrist) runs a dedicated children’s eyecare clinic on Saturdays and offers after school appointments on Fridays. Maria will see children of any age; they don’t have to be able to read. She recommends all children have their eyes tested regularly from 12 months old.

Did you know children’s eyecare services are free under the NHS, up to and including the age of 16. Or until the age of 18 if in full time education. Children who require spectacles also benefit from an NHS voucher towards their spectacles (there are however charges for contact lenses, vision screenings, and functional assessments).

As an Independent optician we offer a range of services for children, including:

1. Comprehensive eye exams: Our optometrists perform thorough eye exams to assess your child’s visual acuity, eye coordination, and overall eye health. We use child-friendly techniques and equipment to make the experience comfortable and stress-free for your child.

2. Vision screenings: We offer vision screenings to detect any potential vision problems in children. Early detection is crucial in preventing and treating vision issues that can affect your child’s learning and development.

3. Full functional vision assessments. A full functional assessment lasts up to 2 hours.

A functional vision assessment is a privately funded assessment, incorporating extensive testing and a written report with recommendations. Typical recommendations are for a special pair of
spectacles with prisms, tints, occlusions or contact lenses. Often these can provide relief from symptoms instantly.

Alternatively, a course of vision therapy may be offered. Vision therapy involves techniques and exercises that are practised and repeated to teach someone the skills of visual efficiency for life.

4. Prescription eyewear and prescription sunglasses: If your child requires prescription eyewear, we have a wide selection of spectacle frames and lenses specifically designed for children. Our knowledgeable staff will help your child find the perfect pair of glasses that are both functional and stylish, . Iincluding brands such as Oakley and other designer frames. We also offer affordable eyewear range for every budget.

5. Contact lens fittings: For slightly older children who prefer contact lenses, we provide contact lens fittings to ensure a proper fit and comfortable wearing experience. Our optometrists will guide your child through the process of inserting, removing, and caring for their contact lenses. We also fit Ortho-k contact lenses and MiSight myopia control daily contact lenses.

6. Myopia control: Find more detailed information about the condition Myopia on our website. Research shows that early intervention before the age of 12 will most likely have the greatest impact on effectively reducing the progression of myopia.

This is why advanced myopia control technology has been developed, meaning that rather than just providing vision correction, your child’s vision can remain more stable, and their eye health can be protected from the potential complications that can occur with myopia in later years.

We offer 3 different forms of myopia control – Hoya MiYOSMART spectacle lenses, Coopervision MiSight 1-day soft contact lenses and EyeDream Ortho k lenses.

7. Education and guidance: We believe in empowering parents and children with knowledge about proper eye care and the importance of regular eye exams. Our team will provide guidance on how to maintain good eye health and answer any questions you may have.

At Nicholson Eyecare, we strive to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for children. We understand that visiting the optician can be intimidating for children, and we take extra care to ensure that they feel at ease during their visit.

Schedule an appointment with us today to ensure that your child’s eyes are healthy, and their vision is well-corrected. Book an eye test in Bransgore (near Christchurch) online, call or come and see us in person. If you have a particular query for Maria, please e-mail the practice on and she will contact you as soon as she can.

A few words from Maria Wheeler herself:

Hi! I am Maria. I am a wife, a Mum, and a Neuro-developmental Optometrist. Whilst my family mean the world to me, so does my career. All I ever wanted to do was become an Optometrist. And to help people. The thought of people not being able to see the world clearly because they don’t have access to glasses or because of an eye disease that could have been prevented or treated early is heart-breaking to me. I would like to encourage EVERYONE to have a routine eye examination at least every 2 years. Maria has a website with more information:

Since qualifying as a GOC registered Optometrist in 2009, I have undergone extensive training to become a neuro-developmental optometrist. This field of work enables me to help even more people. Looking at vision from a more holistic angle enables me to understand how a person interacts with the world around them through their sense of sight. I offer in depth functional vision assessments as well as vision therapy.

Whilst I am passionate about all aspects of Optometry, my passion is in paediatric eyecare. It is estimated that 1 in 5 children have visual difficulties. This could potentially lead children to have difficulties in their academic career and later into life. I am campaigning to promote the importance of eye examination for children and how it is important to start getting regular eye tests well before they start school.

And finally …….Just in case you are wondering………….What is a Neuro-developmental Optometrist (formerly known as a Behavioural Optometrist)?

A Neuro-developmental Optometrist is someone who focuses on the relationship between vision and the development of the brain and nervous system. They assess and treat visual problems that may be affecting a person’s overall development, learning, and behaviour.

Neuro-developmental Optometrists use a variety of techniques and therapies to improve visual skills and visual processing abilities, which can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to learn and function in their daily life.

Some of the specific areas that a Neuro-developmental Optometrist may address include eye tracking, eye teaming, focusing, visual perception, and visual-motor integration. They may prescribe specialised glasses or contact lenses, as well as recommend vision therapy exercises and activities to help improve visual skills.

Overall, the goal of a Neuro-developmental Optometrist is to optimise visual function and integration with other sensory systems to support overall development, learning, and behaviour.

There is lots of useful information on the BABO website about behavioral optometry:

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