STAFF from Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s Eye Unit spotted a number of undiagnosed problems at this year’s annual Open Day.

Several unsuspecting families who attended the event had quite a surprise when they found out their children had undiagnosed eye focussing problems.

Christchurch four-year-old Olivia Welham, had a free eye test, which led to the diagnosis of anisometropia – a difference in the focussing power between the two eyes, which means one eye doesn’t develop normal vision, and can be undetected until adult life when it is too late to treat.

Poppy Webb, five, from Burton, also received a diagnosis as a result of the day’s tests. She now has glasses to correct the astigmatism.

The two now have glasses.. Olivia said: “I love my glasses. I have two pairs – they’re pink and purple”. And Poppy expressed her delight too: “I was so excited to get my glasses, my mum says my reading has improved already.”

Julie Cartledge, Head Orthoptist at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, said: “The Open Day is a great opportunity for us to showcase our services and facilities and I’m so pleased Olivia and Poppy could be helped by us.

“Young children need to have their eyes assessed by a trained eye care professional, which is why we provide free checks to all children in reception across Dorset. This helps identify children with previously undetected vision problems."

This year’s Open Day attracted more than 500 people and saw many of the hospital’s departments open to the public offering a number of activities for young and old alike.

The 2018 Open Day is planned for September 15.