Thornlands 8-year-old Osian managed to sail through the first few months of Prep, but things really started to look up when he put on his first pair of glasses.

It was a free vision screening at school when he was 5 that first detected a possible vision problem with Osian’s eyes. Further assessment with an optometrist revealed he had astigmatism, an unusual curvature of the lens of the eye that can cause blurred vision, headaches and eye strain. It’s a common and generally treatable condition, but often only detected through vision screening as children often don’t realise their vision is blurry.

The diagnosis came as a surprise to his mum Marie because she’d had his eyes checked when he was about 3 years old, and he’d never complained of any visual problems before the screening in Prep.

“We were a little surprised to find there might be a problem with his eyes as he was coping with his schoolwork, reading and playing sports without any issues,” Marie said.

“When the referral letter came home, we made an appointment with the optician as soon as we could.”

After the appointment, Marie said Osian was very calm and accepting of the fact he may need to wear glasses all the time and he enjoyed picking out his first pair.

“He loved dinosaurs at the time, and we managed to find a Jurassic Park frame, so he was excited. Once they were ordered, he’d ask every day if they were ready for collection,” she said.

“He adapted to wearing glasses amazingly well from the very start. We knew he must have noticed the improvement in his vision pretty quickly as he would ask for them as soon as he woke up.

“He is now in Year 4 and doing really well in school. I think he was worried the glasses would get in the way and he wouldn’t be able to play sports, but he has continued to play basketball, AFL and soccer, and he loves swimming.”

Marie said she was grateful the vision screening program had prompted them to see an eye specialist at the beginning of Osian’s schooling.

“Because Osian wasn’t struggling in school and showed no signs of vision problems, we may have left it a little longer to have his eyes tested again.

“Having picked up the condition so early there is a good chance his eyes will improve a little and there could be other treatment options available to him as he gets older.”

Osian now has regular vision checks every 12 months and he happily wears transition lenses every day that help to protect his eyes from the sun.

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