Your child needs glasses
Should I be worried that my child has glasses?
Just the fact that your child has glasses is no need to worry. Today for various reasons the number of children needing glasses has increased. The need for glasses does not mean that the eyes are defective. Glasses are used to produce a clear image on the back wall of the eye or the retina. This is similar to focusing an image onto film in a camera. Sometimes if the power of the glasses is very high (greater than 6 Diopters) only then there is a cause for concern as this may be associated with other problems. Your doctor will explain these problems to you in detail.
How do I know if the glass power given to my child is right?
Children cannot be expected to cooperate in the eye doctor’s clinic the way adults do. We thus, cannot use the same techniques that we use in adults, in children. In children, a special examination requiring the use of strong, long-acting drops is needed in order to make an independent assessment of their need for glasses. Once this assessment is made depending on the age of the child we may give glasses right away or call you once more to the clinic to give you the glass prescription. Once the glass prescription is given, we usually ask for you to come to the clinic again after a month to test the child’s vision with the new glasses.
What is myopia?
Nearsightedness is also known as myopia. Nearsighted children are ones in which objects that are close are clear while objects that are far away are not. Myopia needs minus lenses so that the child can see clearly at a distance. The minus power can increase with age till 13-14yrs in girls and 15-16yrs in boys.
What is hyperopia?
Farsightedness is also known as hyperopia. Here, vision is better at a distance than near. Hyperopia is actually normally present in younger children, which usually decreases by the time they reach about 7 to 8 yrs of age. Sometimes it does not decrease and in that case the child will have to wear glasses for the rest of his or her life. It is very important to understand however, that this does not mean that there is any added defect in the eye.
What is astigmatism?
This is another type of refractive error present in some children. In these type of glasses the glass power is present only in one meridian only. This happens because here the eye instead of being shaped like a football is shaped like a rugby ball. Again this is not a need to worry and this kind of power does not in any way affect your child’s eye or vision.
Can I do anything to stop the power from increasing?
Parents always ask the question “For how many years will my child have to wear glasses.” As mentioned earlier minus lenses may increase and plus lenses usually do not increase. Even Astigmatic glasses usually do not increase. Whatever the case, most importantly glasses usually have to be worn for the rest of the child’s life. There is really not much one can do to prevent the change in power. There is one technique called ortokeratology which is wearing contact lenses such that the power of the eyes does not increase.
How do I choose the right pair of glasses for my child?
If it does turn out that your child needs corrective lenses, the next step is finding the right pair of glasses. Frames that are picked for children should be especially for kids and not just a pair of small adult eyeglasses. We recommend taking your time choosing and emphasize the importance of getting the proper fit. You don’t want a frame that pinches the ears or nose or weighs down on their face. The children will be reluctant to wear the glasses if they are not comfortable.” As for material we suggest aiming for safety — a polycarbonate lens is the toughest material for impact and will block UV rays. Check the fit of your child’s glasses periodically, as they may need adjusting. Positive reinforcement is essential. We are all thankful for our fictional friend Harry Potter, who became a role model for children needing glasses. In most cases, getting a child to wear glasses can be pretty easy. Once they realize how much clearer and more comfortable their vision is, they often want to keep them on.
My child wants to wear contacts, can I allow that?
If your child hates wearing glasses and has brought up the idea of contact lenses, you may want to consider it — if you think they’re ready. The question doesn’t have as much to do with age as it has to do with the maturity of the child. Physically, the eyes can tolerate contact lenses at a very young age. The most important factor is that both parent and child are committed to properly handling and caring for contact lenses.
A parent should also understand that with contacts comes responsibility, so they should assess the child’s level of maturity. Does the child currently take ownership and interest in their personal hygiene? How about their general organization and neatness? If they are somewhat irresponsible in these areas, it could be best to hold off until they show more mature habits.
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