It has always fascinated me that people may perceive colours differently from me.
Just because I can point to the sky and say it is blue because I have always been told that colour is called blue, and have everyone agree with me (unless it’s grey and miserable), doesn’t mean they see the same colour. For all I know they see green, but still call it blue.
Children may point at a tree and call it a tree, but are they seeing what we see? Do they see leaves, the texture of the bark, the squirrel hiding in its foliage? When my mum was thirteen years old she got her first ever pair of specs. From that day on her drawings of trees stopped looking like green candy floss on a thick wood stick, and started having leaves. She was short-sighted – quite badly so – everything in the distance was a swirl of colour to her, but she didn’t know any different and because she never complained her parents never suspected.
I have been in this industry over thirty years and in that time I have witnessed a change in not just children’s attitude to wearing specs (in the eighties they cried if they got them, these days they cry if they don’t), but also to the rise in children who need spectacles.
In Asia there has been a documented rise in school-aged children becoming myopic (short-sighted). Once deemed the sort of prescription worn by bookish people, there is a growing belief, backed by studies with control groups, that the modern approach to learning, the hours children spend each day studying books and computers, and then have mobile hand-held devices to play on, is playing a part in the formation of the eye itself, leading to increased cases of myopia not just in Asia, but across the USA and Europe. OK, myopia can be corrected with glasses, but uncorrected, or undetected myopia, can make the eye more at risk of retinal problems in later life, and sometimes no glasses can correct that.
It’s the school summer holidays very soon. Get in touch to book your little ones in, get them checked, it’s free.
Get them outside for at least an hour a day, and we’ll make sure they can see the leaves on the trees.