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Young children and glasses

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#1 Colleer

Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:00 PM

Hi There,

My youngest DS (4yo) was marked as high priority when he had the 4yo visual screening last thursday.

I managed to get him an appointment with a paediatric optometrist for yesterday.  It hadn't actually occured to me that he might actually have bad eyesight  sad.gif

At the appointment, the optometrist did his first test, pulled away from the machine and said ""He is very very long sighted".  He conducted further testing, during which it did start to dawn on me just how much trouble he had seeing.

There was no "Maybe he might need glasses one day.." kind of talk.  It was "Let's put these drops in and see exactly what prescription he will need.  He will have to wear them full time, we may even have to patch one eye for a while" sad.gif

Now, I know full well glasses are not that bad.  I have worn them full time since I was 5 or 6.  My husband has worn them all his life as well, though he can get buy with out them if needs be.

I just had no idea his eyesight was that bad.  The optometrist did reassure me and say that such long sightedness is something that you don't tend to observe many signs of in youngster, thought the symptoms that he described were Ben down to a tee.
- clumsiness (he has poor depth perception so would be clumsy) well - we had just attributed this to his muscle conditon which means he has low muscle tone and poor reflexes, and hence - clumsy!
- poor ball catching skills etc

Anyhoo enough of the venting side of things!

I suppose I just wanted to know how your young child adapted to wearing glasses all the time?  The fellow said that because his eyesight is so bad, he will figure out that he can see so so much better with them on, and actually WANT to wear them all the time.

Is this the case with your child?  

I picked out frames yesterday which thankfully can be almost bent in half before they break!  But even then I know it's going to be an expensive little thing to have.  I suppose I am just after any tips on keeping them safe?!

Also, how did you prepare your child for the fact that they would be wearing glasses? I have said to him how lucky and cool he is going to be because he gets to wear glasses like mum and dad, but since they won't arrive for a week, I am not sure what else I can do?

On the positive side, I am now hanging out for his glasses to come, especially now that I know just how bad his eyesight is, and how hard that must be  sad.gif

#2 unicycle

Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

I cannot help you with personal child stories, but: after you get these glasses, ask for a copy of his 'script ( if you feel uncomfortable about this, you can say an overseas trip is coming up and it is for if he loses them there). Then, go online and buy a spare pair for a fraction of the cost and use them for rough and tumble situations!

#3 9ferals

Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:41 PM

I wasn't that young when I got glasses (10 years) but the worst thing my mum did (and she meant well!) was tell me how great they were.  She kept on and on about how nice they looked and went out of her way to tell every. single. person. we met "look at her new glasses, aren't they lovely".

I have never been so embarrassed in my life. It was bad enough that I had to wear glasses, but having attention drawn to them all the time drove me crazy.  I hated them and refused to wear them for quite some time - I would tell the teacher I had left them at home and tell mum I left them at school.  Soon enough though, I realised that I could actually see better with them and just got over being so embarrassed.

As your little one is still so small, it should be very different. I would just be very matter of fact about it, don't make it into a big deal.  "Here's your new glasses, these will help you see better, just like Mummy and Daddy."  And go and do something cool.

#4 cheekymonkeysmum

Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:52 PM

My ds has had glasses since he was 2 (he is now 3 and a half) and had no problem he knows he sees much better with his glasses (he has 6% vision in his left eye)  and only takes them off for bath/bed time and asks for them in the morning.

He has broken the bridge bit across the nose when he was having one almighty tantrum and once he figured out they were broken he knew he did the wrong thing and was very apologetic and when we got his new frames he hasn't taken them off since.

Edited by cheekymonkeysmum, 19 February 2013 - 01:53 PM.

#5 iolanthe

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

Relax for starters. My little one got them at 4 years old. They are the funkiest glasses, she gets great comments on them. Kids don't tend to make any comments at this age or are jealous. We just said she was lucky and gets to wear glasses like mummy and daddy and uncles, aunts, grandparents etc. She LOVES her case and cleaning cloth. We just had to remind her to put them on in the morning and she has had no hassles with them. Really it isn't a big deal. I did feel a little guilty when she pointed out things she could now see!

The only thing that shocked me was the price of the little suckers, I just assumed they'd be half price of adults not the same rolleyes.gif sad.gif  

He will be fine, we did state that you just needed to be careful with them as they can break and that you NEVER let anyone else try them on as they are especially made just for you.

Goodluck and don't stress

#6 Logical nonsense

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

I have had glasses since I was around 6, mine was so cool & 80's, was pink with purple, blue & green dots on them. I did were them as I could see better.
I only remember I broke them once, it was the bridge so unusable.
The lady at the shop just laughed & said it was common in kids.

My eyes did get better as I used them all the time but in year 10 I did notice they become bad again as I could not see what the teacher was writing on the whiteboard when I was sitting in the last row. Yep bad
Now I have them all the time, I do prefer them to my contacts.

#7 hills mum bec

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

OP, I had exactly the same experience as you with my DS's 4 yo eye check.  Extreme long sighted & astigmatism in one eye, I had no idea & had never suspected.  We did not make a fuss about wearing glasses, more like "here's your glasses, wear them" like you would with a pair of shoes.  My DS is now almost 12 & he hates not wearing his glasses.  Sometimes if we are going to the pool where I know he won't be wearing them I tell him to leave them at home but he would rather wear them.  In 7.5 years we have only ever had one break & it was able to be soldered & repaired, the lenses have never broken.  We have private health insurance so we get a new pair every year, by the end of the year they are often looking a bit scratched but are still fine to see through.

#8 Carmen02

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

the biggest thing i found is dont get cheap glasses! buying a decent frame makes them last longer!! my DD has been wearing glasses from 22mths old (shes almost 11yrs old now) and she adjusted wearing them extremely well it was so easy to keep them on her as she could actually see better!! But it is important to drum into him how important it is to look after them from the start.

#9 DS1979

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:35 PM

My son started wearing glasses for an astigmatism in one eye after having an eyesight test at daycare, so he would have been nearly 5. He never had any issues adjusting to wearing them; we told him that one of his eyes wasn't very strong and the glasses would help it to get stronger. At first he would say "when my eyes get better I won't have to wear glasses anymore" but now he never mentions not wearing them at all. I think he realises that they make him see a lot better, infact he will always make sure that he puts them on as soon as he wakes up without having to be reminded!

At first internally I felt really sad for him that he would have to wear glasses for the rest of his life but then I realised I was just making a bigger deal out of it than it needed to be and in reality we were very very lucky that his weak eye was detected so early. At his eyesight tests the opthamologist says his weak eye is now as strong as the other eye so the glasses have really been a huge blessing.

My son started school last year and I was so surprised how common it was was for kids to wear glasses; I think in his grade this year there are around 7 or 8 kids who wear specs fulltime out of about 80 year one kids! And it's all changed now since I was at school, there doesn't seem to be any teasing about having to wear glasses these days - infact specs are rather cool!

Good luck to your son, I'm sure he will wear them with no issues at all! original.gif

#10 fionah

Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:19 PM

I took Cam to the optometrist last year. He didn't find any problems. I could see something wasn't right, his left eye would occasionally turn in.
I took him to the GP and got a referral to see an eye surgeon.
Last week we saw the surgeon and Cam was also diagnosed as being long sighted. The surgeon would like to try and hold off for a few more months to get the glasses and get him prepared for FYOS next year.

I have had Ray tested twice by the same optometrist that missed Cams problem. I wonder if I should get Ray tested by the surgeon too?


#11 rose888

Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:32 PM

I never wore glasses as a kid but my Dh is asian and has typical HK eyes. He got glasses for short sight age 6 so i had my children tested from 4 years old by his opthamologist.

One of my twin sons and my daughter got glasses from age 5 but they didn't have to wear them all the time. My son took to them straight away and because he wore them all the time never lost them or broke them. My daughter tried not to wear them and lost them, broke them and basically drove me mad until she found she had to wear them or she just could not see well enough to get around. Later she told me that they didn't make enough difference to her sight until she got her second prescription aged 7.

I think the difference they make to his vision will ensure he wants to wear them and this will mean because they are on his head they will look after themself.  In my sons case he loved the difference they made to his vision.

good Luck with the glasses OP!

Edited by rose888, 19 February 2013 - 03:34 PM.

#12 TheGreenSheep

Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

Our DS has worn glasses from 19mths old, hes now 3yr 8mths

He is severely long sighted (plus 7).

Now whilst it isnt the end of the world per se, and its easily sorted out, it is a surprise and it took a little sinking in to come to terms with it. It seemed like such a huge deal for a toddler sad.gif But we knew its not cancer and it aint going to cause lifelong health issues, its just glasses!

He hasnt had issues with wanting to wear them as he sees everything much clearer with them. We found other little kids would pull them off, but now hes older its not happening.

Everyone always comments on how great his glasses are and one mum says how she loves kids with glasses  huh.gif  but I just smile and nod.

We have extra bendy frames. Phwoar theyre expensive, but worth it. We got great advice and bought two sets with 2 lenses, it has saved us numerous times when we have had issues with screws falling out etc, and waiting for upgraded lenses (it took a while to tweak the strength) We also use an optometrist exclusively who deals with kids, as well as a paedeatric opthalmologist. The relationship we have built over the last 2 years has been worth every penny.

Goodluck OP!

#13 ourlittlegirls

Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:44 AM

DD1 has had glasses since she was 4. I explained to her that one of her eyes doesn't work as it should and the glasses will help with that. She got used to the glasses pretty quickly and now forgets she has them on and will fall asleep with them on or try to get into the bath with them on.

She has broken one pair in two years which I don't think it too bad for a child. For school swimming last year I put her glasses case into her swim bag and she'd put them in there. She didn't loose them.

Our hurdle was patching, DD has to wear a patch for three hours a day. It's ok now, but was very difficult at first as her sight was so bad she couldn't walk with her patch on, she just couldn't see more than shadows. Even 5 min was a battle.

She is now 6 and loves her glasses, I let her choose glasses that she likes (within reason) and she doesn't like people seeing her without them as she thinks she looks strange!

#14 polka dotty

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:10 AM

My first pair of glasses were when I was around 9...they were huge coke-bottle affairs and I got terribly teased. I got contact lenses as soon as I could (in year 11) and still wear them daily.

DS(9) got his first pair at age 7, he is onto his 2nd pair now and it didn't take long to get use to them. There are so many trendy, thin frames around nowadays that they are really not obvious at all. I let him choose his own frames but I do steer him towards the cheaper ones!

Ironically, when he started wearing his to school his hair was a bit shaggy and he started getting called 'Harry Potter' (much better than 4-eyes!) - he really did look like him, and he got a real kick out of the attention so it was a nice easy transition for us.

Ditto to all the PP remarks about teaching them how to look after them. DS knows his do not come off his face unless he has his case handy to put them straight into, which meant buying a few spare cases(one for the car, one for school, etc) but that works for us.

#15 gizboo

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:35 PM

This was us last month!

We took our 4.5yo son to the optometrist and after two visits he was diagnosed as being long sighted (6+), he needs glasses fulltime. I almost started crying when they were doing his eyetest with drops and the picture of the dog turned into a car and then a circle as the pic got smaller sad.gif We had no indication that his vision was that bad, I felt so guilty.

Fast forward a month, and we haven't had an issue. We worried because he is our most wildest child  happy.gif , but the glasses haven't stopped him at all!! He is still bouncing around, all his friends at preschool have been very accepting. We thought we would have to fight him on the transition, but he just prefers to wear them, they help him that much.
We got him two pairs of glasses from OPSM with the 12mth insurance, and a pair of cheapie zenniopticals as spares. We have this book called Arlo needs glasses, that is awesome! Max has a spot on a shelf in his room that is ONLY for his glasses. When the glasses go off, they go there in the case, he has been very very good with that. We have the rule that he is the only one allowed to take them off, even mum & dad have to ask permission, so he is entirely in charge of his glasses. I found an online support group on facebook which has been amazing. All in all, the transition was much much easier then I thought it would be!!

#16 WibbleWobble

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:53 PM

DD got her glasses just before she turned 4. Given that DD is not big on change I knew getting her to wear glasses was going to be a nightmare.

At the start she flatly refused to wear them so each day we would try to encourage her with no luck. In the end I just said no choice, they are to be worn end of story. It tied in with her next eye test and I was told her eyes had worsened, so we just enforced it. Now she just puts them on most days out of habit.

Last eye exam we were told she needs to wear a patch as one eye has gotten lazy and again getting her to wear that is turning into a nightmare. She is due for her next check up so not sure what the next step will be when there is no improvement.

Good luck, hope your DS is like most of the other posters compliant kids and not my defiant one.

Edited by WibbleWobble, 20 February 2013 - 12:55 PM.

#17 BadCat

Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:07 PM

My DS has worn glasses since he was about 5.  Once he realised that leaves were in fact separate things and not one big clump he never wanted to go without his glasses.

We didn't make a big deal of it, just set a few rules about care in place and gave his teacher a heads up.  We've had very little trouble.  He's broken a few pairs over the years in one way or another but not through carelessness.

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