Spotting problems with eye health (Source: Seeability 2020)

“I stopped wearing shoes in order to feel where I was walking as I couldn’t see”

“I stopped sleeping in my bed and instead slept on the floor. I was frightened of falling out of bed as I couldn’t see”

Does the person you support:

  • Pull objects very close to their eyes?
  • Squint?
  • Become less interested in reading or looking at things they may have looked at previously?
  • Have a lack of co-ordination and bump into things?
  • Present with behavioural changes, such as being more withdrawn or frustrated or not recognising people?
  • Rub or poke their eyes?
  • Have unusual eye movements or the eyes not looking straight?

If you have answered yes to one or more of the above book an eyesight check now

Reasons to book an eyesight check

  • 6 out 10 people with learning disabilities need glasses
  • People with high support needs are more likely to need glasses
  • There are many things ophthalmology can implement to make eye tests accessible for people with learning disabilities, for example, using pictures instead of letters
  • People should have their eyes tested every two years unless advised otherwise by ophthalmology
  • There are adapted glasses available for people with genetic syndromes where facial characteristics make it hard for glasses to stay on or be positioned correctly (see www.SeeAbility.org for further details)
  • Support the person you care for to clean their glasses daily and check they are in good working order.

Reasons to book an eyesight check

  • Talk to your local optometrists to find the right one for the person you support.
  • When you book the appointment tell optometry of any reasonable adjustments the person you support needs, for example, longer appointment, appointment at a quieter time, communication needs, pre visit etc.
  • The person you support may need to get used to wearing glasses. You can help by supporting them to put glasses onto a doll/toy, encourage them to clean glasses, putting glasses on for short periods of time and gradually increasing this.

Finding an optometrist

For easy read information, information for carers and finding a local optometrist who is learning disability friendly access www.seeability.org

If the person you support has difficulty accessing high street opticians due to their learning disability you can book an appointment at Portsmouth University Eye Clinic.

Address: University Eye Clinic, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2EF

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 023 9284 6888

more details at: https://www.port.ac.uk/collaborate/our-community/clinics-and-services/eyeclinic/specialist-eye-appointments