Opticians have urged families to take free eye tests for 12 to 16-year-olds which are available until the end of March.
EyeZone members which include almost 100 independent opticians nationwide are making the offer to highlight the lack of eyecare services for 12 to 16-year-olds. Details of participating opticians in Mayo can be found at www.eyezone.ie Chairman Diarmuid Keane said that approximately 10 per cent of children up to the age of 12 require glasses or contact lenses, while more than 20 per cent do by the age of 16.
Under current services children up to the age of 12 receive two publicly funded eye tests through the School Medical Scheme. At 16 those with medical cards become eligible for adult services. “At present there is no specific scheme for 12 to 16-year-olds. The majority of these children receive no eyecare at all. We need a specific scheme to target this age group which is reliable and consistent countrywide,” Mr Keane said.