What is it?

Does your child need to wear glasses? That is what a refraction test can find out. When your child visits an eye hospital their eyes may be tested by an ophthalmologist who will want to know how well they can see with each eye. One of the tests they do is called refraction. The refraction test will help the ophthalmologist decide if wearing glasses will help your child to see better.


How does it work?

During the test your child will sit a short distance from a chart with letters of the alphabet on it. The letters at the top of the chart are very large and the letters at the bottom very small. The ophthalmologist will ask your child to cover each eye in turn and read the letters aloud, from top to bottom. This is to find out just how clearly each eye can see. Your child may also be asked to hold a page and read some lines from it.

Your child will then have to wear a trial frame. This is a bit like a pair of glasses without any lenses in it.  The ophthalmologist will slip different lenses into the trial frame to see if they make your child's eyesight any better. They will also shine a light into your child's eyes while they wear the trial frame. 


Why does my child have to have a refraction test? 

Refraction is done when the ophthalmologist wants to know if your child's vision can be improved with glasses. Your child may have a problem with their eyes that could require an operation. But they might not need the operation straight away if glasses can help them to see better.
If your child has already had an operation, refraction will show any changes in their eyes and help find a new pair of glasses that are suitable.


What will happen afterwards? 

After refraction your child will given a prescription for a new pair of glasses. There are plenty of cool styles and colours of frames available to choose from.