Prescribing Glasses for Children
Why are glasses sometime necessary to see better?
In order to see clearly, the front part of the eye (the cornea and lens) must focus a tiny image onto the back of the eye (the retina). If the image is not focused precisely, blur is the result. To help focus the image properly, we can use lenses in front of the eyes (glasses) or lenses on the surface on the eye (contact lens).
If my child uses her glasses all the time, she will become dependent on them. Not true. Imagine if people spoke at a whisper all day long around you. While you could hear some if it, wouldn’t this be hard to deal with? Isn’t it wonderful that people speak up at a normal volume? Have you become addicted to or dependent on people speaking up? Or does it just make your life easier… People who need glasses may be able to “get by” without their glasses, but it’s not easy. They see better once they get used to their glasses but this isn’t an addiction or dependence. Wearing glasses is not like using heroin or cocaine: glasses are absolutely safe, legal and awesome when you need them!
Using glasses will weaken the eyes. Nonsense! Why would you deprive your child of the ability to see clearly? In point of fact, not wearing glasses can sometimes lead to vision loss (amblyopia). Imagine if your parents had told everybody around you only to whisper so that your hearing wouldn’t “get weak.” Bet you wouldn’t have liked that!
Computer and video games hurt the eyes! Who thinks this stuff up?!? The eyes do not “wear out” from looking at things, including computers and video games. Does the sense of smell, touch, or taste wear out from being used constantly? Why would the eyes?
If my child needs glasses, does this mean that he has “weak eyes?” So long as the vision can be corrected to the normal range with glasses then the eyes are not “weak.” When the structures of the eye are healthy and all that is needed is some help with putting things into focus, the eyes are considered healthy. Unfortunately, there are certain eye diseases where the vision cannot be improved to normal with glasses or contact lenses.
The glasses should be worn only to see the board. Without question, children who need glasses to see things clearly should wear their glasses in order to see the board at school. It would be a shame for your child to do poorly in school because she couldn’t see the board. However, if your child needs glasses to see well, wouldn’t you want her to see well all of the time?
If my eyes are fine, then how did this happen? Needing glasses is not anybody’s “fault.” But, if it makes you feel better, then you can always blame the other parent and their family. Seriously, while there is some familial tendency for certain refractive errors, the genetics are not so clear-cut. Refractive errors “just happens.”
My child should have her eyes examined every few months now. Children with glasses, particularly younger ones, should have an exam once a year (or so) in order to make any adjustments in the glasses. If your child reports blurry vision before one year, however, then it may be necessary to make an adjustment sooner. Older children (after age 8 or 9) can usually be seen on an as-needed basis.