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Children's Eye Examination

Our practice has a reputation for working with children, with all three Optometrists undertaking specialist paediatric clinics at both Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal Hospital.

All children should have their eyes examined at least once before they start school, and they do not need to be able to read for this!

Children’s eye tests are fun, easy and really interesting, but more importantly can often explain why there are difficulties with reading, writing and learning.

Whilst basic children’s eye tests are paid for by the NHS, more in-depth testing can be carried out privately, and is tailored to the specific needs of the child. Children who have been diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia should always have careful visual testing, as many of the issues have a visual basis.

More and more schools throughout the country are realising that children with specific reading difficulties can be helped by the use of colour, either in the form of coloured overlays or as individually prescribed coloured spectacle lenses.

There are several reasons why children need to be checked early on in their lives. Nearly all children are mildly long-sighted at birth, and this reduces as they grow older. However, some children are excessively long-sighted, and whilst they may not show any obvious signs of this, it can cause particular problems with learning, lead to a weakness in one eye, or even cause a squint.

If picked up early, these issues can be treated, and problems averted.

Squints occur when the two eyes fail to align accurately with each other, most commonly with one eye appearing to turn inwards - often initially only if the child is very tired. Once this becomes permanent, it is harder to treat, but if picked up early, treatment is not only easier, but likely to be far more successful. It is essential that any squint is fully investigated - rarely there can be a more serious cause that needs urgent medical treatment.

Amblyopia arises when an eye is not receiving a clear image - either because of a squint or because of a need for glasses; this affects the normal growth and development of the retinal pathways in the brain, and must be treated as soon as possible.

Treatment involves both accurately correcting any prescription with glasses or contact lenses, which normally must be worn full time, and through exercises to stimulate vision.


Having been to several different opticians over the years I became disillusioned with the quality of service and care I received. I never seemed to see the same optician twice, and always felt like their main priority was to sell me a pair of glasses.

My first examination at Shrewsbury Optometry was like a breath of fresh air. I immediately felt like I was in the hands of a professional team, and the level of examination I received was far beyond anything I had received before.

In the ten years since that first examination I have always seen Jenny Hardcastle, and I never ceased to be amazed at the new equipment used during the examinations, which seems to get more sophisticated every year.

Mrs Catrina B

Our daughter Erin has Down's syndrome, and has a number of healthy issues including problems with her visual development.

I first came to hear about Shrewsbury Optometry though the hospital eye service, and was recommended to them, having had trouble finding spectaclesthat fit properly.

We saw Elizabeth who took her time to find the right frame for Erin with a specially adapted bridge that meant she no longer peered over the top of her glasses all the time.

We noticed an almost immediate difference in Erin's behaviour, and she began to take interest in objects around her, that we realised she simply wasn't seeing with standard spectacle frames.

We can't thank you enough for the time and care you took for our beautiful daughter.

On our Children's Glasses

Wonderful service from very nice people who genuinely care! Nothing like the high street chains at all! Attention to detail and customer care second to none. I can honestly say I have never had a better eye test! I can honestly say I have never had such wonderful help in choosing glasses and lenses! I will never go back to the high street multiples. I discovered today that the glasses I'd had from a now obsolete high street chain about three years ago were far too strong! I hardly wore them at all because they made me feel sick! Now I know why! If you need an eye test and new glasses go to these people! Danielle on the eye tests and Jess on the glasses choice and fitting - both of them are just wonderful in my opinion!

Jeremy Higgins

I was diagnosed as having a corneal disease called kerataconus some five years ago. In that time I tried a number of different opticians who didn't seem to understand my condition, and I ended up with spectacles that simply didn't give me the vision I needed.

It wasn't until I got referred to Gareth Hardcastle by my consultant Ophthalmologist that I found someone who finally understood my eye condition.

Now some five years later, I am happily wearing specialist contact lenses which give me fantastic vision from morning to night.

Simon C

I hadn't been to see an Optician in about 10 years. I went today and was pleasantly surprised. I was welcomed the moment I walked through the door. All the staff were very helpful and friendly. Mrs Hardcastle was brilliant and explained everything in detail. Nice to know I can still be a fighter pilot! Would recommend this Optometry to anyone.Thank you everyone.

Lorraine Pryce

I wouldn't go anywhere else for my optical appointments!

My sight is too important to not use the best!

The staff are all very supportive and will ALWAYS go the extra mile to ensure that you are totally happy with your prescription and frames. When there has been a problem, they rectify it as fast as they are able. I have never been disappointed with the service I have received!

Thank you!

Graham Farmer

I hate eye tests, but staff here made me feel so at ease from the moment I walked through the door. I left knowing I made the right choice for change. Thank you.

Carole Markham

Having previously tried varifocals and not got on with them I was extremely reluctant to try them again, but was becoming increasingly frustrated at constantly swapping between different pairs of spectacles.

Perhaps somewhat naively, I thought all varifocals were the same.

It wasn't until I had an eye examination at Shrewsbury Optometry that I actually had it explained to me that there was a type of varifocal that could give me the extra reading and computer distance focus that I needed.

I was impressed with the digital lens measuring, and the bespoke lens service that I was provided with.

I now happily wear my varifocals for all my day to day office work, and gone are the days of swapping spectacles.

On our Lenses