After an inspiring customer experience, Specsavers Highpoint optometrist, Naim Bashir is determined to ensure all children have the opportunity to experience clear vision and so gave 180+ free vision screenings to the children of a local primary school over two weeks last October.

This generous gesture came after a child had their eyes tested at Specsavers Highpoint, and the team discovered the child needed glasses. After liaising with the school principal and the child receiving the glasses, the child’s reading ability jumped up three levels within a month.

During the school vision screening, an astonishing 40% of children failed the vision screening, of which 25% had substandard vision meaning they would have struggled to see the school board. As a result, they needed urgent eye tests to find suitable prescription glasses to avoid any impact to their education. 10% of children also failed the colour vision test, which can only be detected through having an eye test.

Naim says, “I’m astounded that so many children showed poor eyesight during our school eye screenings. Over the two days, we saw over 180 children for a 10-minute vision screening, and recommended approximately 80 children for a full eye test. It’s so important children can see properly, and I know it can severely affect a child’s education if they are experiencing vision impairment. I hope our eye screenings will help ensure more children have correct vision and can continue learning at maximum capability.

Optical assistants Courtney Grey and Megan Ryan assisted Naim over the two days, and were also inspired to help after hearing about the success this child was having at school after receiving the glasses. Courtney said, “Moving three levels ahead in reading shows what a huge impact improved sight has had for the child, and it must be such a relief to actually be able to see clearly. Sometimes children don’t realise that what they are seeing is different to other people, which is why it’s so important to have regular sight tests.”

Specsavers Highpoint’s Top Tips for Children's Eye Health:

  • Have your eyes checked at least once every two years. There are many eye problems that are best treated in the early stages when there are no obvious symptoms. To ensure your eye health is at its best, book an eye exam with your optometrist at least once every two years.
  • After eight may be too late. Eye conditions that are not corrected early on, such as a squint or a lazy eye, can lead to lifelong problems: after eight years old can be too late to prevent long-term eye sight issues. 
  • Wear sunglasses when outside. Just like your skin needs sunblock, your eyes need sunglasses to protect from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Specsavers offers a great range of prescription sunglasses to ensure you have no excuse to not protect your eyes from the sun.
  • Take regular breaks when reading a book or using a computer. Staring at a screen or focussing on a book close up for long periods at a time can lead to premature short-sightedness. The Optometrists Association of Australia recommends you take a break for five or ten minutes for every one to two hours of computer use.

In addition to the kids’ free school eye screenings, Specsavers Highpoint also donates a portion of its profits to The Fred Hollows Foundation, which focuses on treating and preventing blindness in Australia and Asia Pacific; and the Les Twentyman Foundation, which is an outreach service for Victoria’s at-risk youth.