Glasses for children
Your child may need to see the Optometrist either in the High Street or at the hospital. The Optometrist will examine your child’s eyes to find out if they need glasses.
The Optometrist will carry out a series of tests using a light and special lenses or equipment and may have to change the lighting in the room for some of the tests. Following the assessment with the Optometrist, they will issue a prescription for glasses, if required.
The prescription can then be used to shop around for a pair of frames that your child will like to wear before the glasses can be made with the correct lenses and adjusted to make sure they fit well on your child’s face.
Why does my little boy/girl need glasses?
First, our eyes takes/transports information of the world to the brain, that makes sense of the information. This is so that we can understand and make sense of what we are seeing. Click The Visual System, to read more.
Some children need glasses so that the visual system can develop normally and allow the vision to get stronger wearing glasses.
How long does my child need to wear glasses?
Your child will be given a regular eye test to monitor the strength of vision of each eye, ensure that the glasses fit properly and update the lenses. If your child has long-sightedness, depending on the degree, it could potentially mean that he/she may need to wear glasses for some time and may be discontinued once the optimal strength of vision has been reached.
If you child has been diagnosed with short-sightedness, this usually increases with age and glasses will always need to be worn.
Regular visits with your optician will check that the glasses fit properly and adjust the frames. If your child is very young, you may have to visit your optician frequently to adjust or repair them.
Does my child need to wear glasses all the time?
The answer is usually yes, unless the health professional (the consultant, orthoptist or optometrist) has advised otherwise. The school/nursery may request that the glasses be removed during P.E at school, swimming or at playtimes. Please seek advice from your health professional. If your child struggles to see without the glasses, they should be wearing them all the time.
How do you know my child needs glasses?
Your child will have a vision test (compatible to his/her age group) to record the strength of each eye. The test will be carried out by a fully qualified health professional and each eye will be given a score. If there is concern about your child’s vision, they will be seen by the Optometrist who will measure the eye for glasses using special lenses. It may mean that your child may be diagnosed with long-sightedness (hypermetropia/hyperopia) or short-sightedness (myopia) or astigmatism (front of the eye is rugby ball shaped). It could be a combination of, for example, hypermetropia and astigmatism.
After the test, your child will be given a prescription for the lenses and your child can choose his/her own favourite frames. Your child will be seen regularly by the health professional to ensure the strength of the glasses, remain at their optical optimal strength and to update the prescription. The optician will also ensure that the glasses are fitting properly; after all, your child is still growing. This can be variable from every 6 months or every year.
In a nutshell, if your child needs glasses it is imperative to correct the vision and make it stronger and for the brain to develop normally.
My child does not want to wear the glasses, what should I do?
It takes a while for your child to adjust to wearing their new glasses. It is worth persevering and they should settle into them. In some cases, the glasses may make the vision worse in the beginning. Keep persevering. Don’t worry, with persistence, your child will adjust into them.
If your child is still complaining that they cannot see with them, please seek advice from your doctor, orthoptist or optometrist. It may mean that you will have to battle through some tears and we understand that it may be difficult but you will get through it. If you notice that, your child is peaking over the glasses it will take longer for your child to adjust into them.
It is important that you monitor your child when he/she is wearing to make sure that they are looking through the lens with their new cool glasses. Sometimes giving rewards or treats usually engages them into their treatment.