Frequently Asked Questions

I’m trying to figure out what a word means

I just found out my child needs glasses, and I don’t know where to start.  I don’t even know what to ask…

What happens at a child’s eye appointment?  How should I prepare?

What do the numbers on my child’s prescription mean?

How do I find glasses that fit my child?

How will I get my child to wear glasses?

  • While every child is different, consistency, staying positive, and finding a way to distract your child seem to be the key ingredients.  Also know that it can take time, but it will happen.  Read more

When are glasses normally prescribed?

  • Prescribing glasses is an art and a science, with many different factors at play such as whether a child’s vision is different the each eye and whether their eyes are aligned and how well they’re functioning.  Read more

How do eye doctors get an accurate prescription when a child can’t talk or read an eye chart?

  • There are a quite a few ways, both subjective and objective, to test a young child’s vision.  Read more

Is there a simulator that lets me see what my child sees?

  • There are vision simulators, but vision is very difficult to simulate accurately, especially based on a glasses prescription.  Read more

Since getting glasses, my child’s eyes now cross even more when her glasses are off.  Are the glasses making things worse?

  • This is one of those questions I wish eye doctors would discuss more.  Short answer, it’s normal.  Read more …

What should I do to make sure my child care provider can help with my child’s glasses?

How do I find a good place to buy glasses?

How can I teach my child to take care of his or her glasses?

How do I explain glasses to my child?

How can I get my child to wear an eye patch?

Can my child wear contacts?

How can I get my baby or toddler to wear contacts?

How do I prepare for my child’s eye surgery?

Should I leave my child’s glasses on when we’re breastfeeding?

I think my child may be color blind, do you have any advice?

30 responses to “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My grandson was prescribed glasses at 3 years old but the mother never bothered to wear the eye patch as was described. he was left wwithout seeing a specialist for over 2 years and has a very difficult time seeing without the glasses, today he was prescribed bifocals. Will his eyes improve or was he left too long unatteded to\/


    • Rae, while it’s true that earlier treatment tends to have better and quicker results, I think there’s still a very good chance that his vision will improve. If I’m reading your question correctly, he’s 5 years old? There’s been a lot of research recently that has found that improvement is possible well past the age that people used to believe (the conventional wisdom was that after age 7, improvement wouldn’t happen, but recent research has found that it’s possible much after that, though not as easy to acheive). I would not give up on his vision!


    • Hello, we have just had news our 2 year old girl( 3 in September) needs glasses. Due to covid there was a delay in getting this confirmed. Her left eye started drifting inward about February time. We managed to see someone finally this month as we pushed to get an appointment. Her intermitting squint is more frequent now and there is also some slight misalignment of the other eye too occasionally. We were quite worried about what was going on because her vision seemed fine but her eyes drifting slightly was becoming more obvious also at a distance rather than close, her left eye also starting to slightly drift up when looking up.
      They did a retinoscopy at the hospital but she wasn’t fully awake at the time as they made us wait hours after applying dilating drops, we had to keep shaking her to wake her up to look straight. ( i wasn’t sure this would be accurate they said it should be ok) that gave results of +6 left and +5.5 right! I was so shocked, feel terrible i didn’t realise. I am -2.5 and I am very blurry without glasses so this scared me! How severe is this kind of farsightedness at her age? Will this get worse?
      At the hospital they basically said the glasses will maybe help the crossing of eyes but her prescription won’t improve. Is this true? We hear so much conflicting info, did we leave it too late? Is there a chance both her squint will improve and her eyesight? Should i get a second opinion if the retinoscopy was done while she was so tired?
      We are waiting oh her glasses to arrive but we have been waiting for so long and feel a bit let down by lack of advice and positivity at our hospital.


  2. Pingback: when you’ve just found out your young child needs glasses | Little Four Eyes·

  3. My name is Ashley and when my son was around 4 months I noticed that my son was not focusing on anything and he crossed his eyes a lot. I took him to the eye doctor and he was diagnosed with astigmatism, far sightedness and small nerve cells. The doctor said to wait a few months and see if his eyesight gets better. Well he’s almost 9 months and he had another appointment and his eyes have not gotten better. He does not follow objects or makes eye contact and I really think he should get his glasses but the doctor said to wait. He isn’t crawling or standing and I think it’s because of his eyesight should I go see another doctor?


    • Hi Ashley, I think that this is exactly the sort of situation in which it makes sense to get a second opinion. I would trust your instincts that he isn’t seeing as well as he should be and see another eye doctor.

      Best of luck and let us know how things go!


  4. hello,

    Why did my Son get +8.50 prescription
    I feel its my fault I let him watch TV
    He is not even four yet
    I feel immense guilt and sadness I feel worry
    will he live a good life
    What could I have I done right or wrong?? kindly reply


    • Hi Tina,
      Please don’t feel guilty about this. It is almost certainly nothing you have done, and certainly not from watching TV. The absolute best thing you can do is to get your son the glasses he needs to see well. He will do fine.

      Take care,


  5. Hi,
    My 1.5 yr old was diagnosed with accommodative esotropia. I was totally shocked and still having a hard time. I tried to find causes. Could it be that she uses ipad or cell phone apps i thought they were developing her learning skills? She has an appointment today and ill have more clear knowledge of her condition but i want to know if there are any eye excercises that can help her improve her condition? Are there any success stories where the kids vision improves and don’t need spectacles anymore?


  6. Can anyone tell me where to purchase “clip-on” sunglasses for my granddaughters prescription glasses? She is 4 years old


  7. Hi,

    My daughter is 4.5 yrs old. We noticed she had a skint in both eyes when she was just over a year old. She had repeated eye tests which all came back that her vision was within the correct limits and recommended surgery on the inside of both eyes; which was completed when she was 2yr old. On follow up from the surgery, the surgeon was happy with the result but recommend further surgery to correct it completely. At the time due to the stress of her initial eye surgery we deferred it until now to recover the surgery.
    She returned to see the surgeon today, and had a further eye test. Again the optician advised her vision was good and there were no problems, but it had however increased slightly to +3.50 in right eye and +4.00 in her left eye and have now recommended my daughter wears glasses to correct the slight squint. They advised she will need to wear the glasses all the time and when the glasses are taken off the squint will still be there.
    I am really concerned about her having to rely on glasses going forward if it isn’t to benefit her vision, especially if her squint is still there when she removes her glasses. Do you have any advice?


  8. Hi

    My one n half month old baby girl is diagnosed with partial 3 rd nerve palsy…her left eye cornea is not moving to the right direction…doctors suggested eye patching…for two months…then review…can anyone tell me how much effective it l be for my baby…im really tensed..


    • Hi Tania, that sounds like a lot to take in! I don’t know much about 3rd nerve palsy. Would you like me to post your question as a blog post to see if anyone else chimes in?


  9. Most of my family wear glasses as well as my ex’s family. I knew my son would need glasses someday and i watched him closely despite the fact that everyone told me i was crazy and child find said nothing was wrong with his eyes. Finally finding a doc that worked with younger kids i took the family in and found out he had to have glasses. I more upset over being right and worried more about what his father would have to say than anything else. I was worried he tried to blame me, say hurtful things to him, or even break them just to cost me more money.
    Now, after getting past all that, i’m finding the biggest hassle is keeping him from touching the lens. I’m cleaning them at least 20 times a day. Any advice for this?


    • Oh, the cleaning the lenses all the time. I would love if anyone had any good tips on keeping lenses clean on young kids. We bought a couple dozen microfiber cloths from Target and kept them all around the house so we’d have easy access to wipe Zoe’s lenses. I think it’s just one of those things that kids will eventually get better with as they grow older.


  10. Hi, my daughter is 15 months old and we have just found out today that she needs glasses. She has accommodative esotropia. I feel so upset. I know its not the worst thing in the world, I just can’t help but feel saddened by it. No one in my family nor my partners family wear glasses. It really took us by surprise as I never expected it. Is there any success stories on it? We are getting Her glasses next week. I have just spent the last hour reading all of your comments and I feel so much better knowing we aren’t alone in this. I have being crying about it all afternoon.. I worked in childcare for 2 years before having my daughter and have never seen any children around her age wear glasses. I notice a lot of people writing “it’s good that you found it early” is there any difference in a child being dignosed with it at 3 years of age to a child being diagnosed at 15 months? And if we decide to have more children is it likely they will have the same problem? Sorry about all the questions. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


    • Hi Alyssa, your daughter is the same age my Zoe was when she got glasses. I’m glad you found us! I guess I’d consider Zoe a success story in that she’s now 8 1/2 and doing well in school. She still wears glasses, but she loves her glasses, and she rocks them.

      As for catching and treating early — one of the common problems associated with accommodative esotropia is that it can quickly lead to amblyopia, which is when the brain suppression the vision from one eye. The reason for that is when your eyes are crossed, you’ll see double, which is really hard to deal with, unless you suppress vision from one eye. But that leads to amblyopia, where even when treated with glasses, an eye won’t see as well as it should, and it will interfere with 3-d vision as well. Amblyopia can be treated, but it is far better to prevent it in the first place so your daughter’s brain can learn to use vision from both eyes together.

      As for future children, I was told they would have a 1 in 4 chance of also needing glasses early. We watched my younger daughter closely for any signs of crossed eyes and took her in for a vision exam at a year old and again at 3 years old. So far, she’s shown no signs of needing glasses. But there are a lot of families who have more than one child in glasses.

      I hope that helps. Best of luck to you!!


  11. My 5 year old son has been wearing glasses
    for the last three years. He has recently started chewing on the end of the glasses arms. I had to purchase two pairs in the last year because he chews them up so bad. Any suggestions on what I can put on the arms so he won’t chew on them.


  12. My son is almost 4 and we just found out he was farsighted. He was given a prescription and we now have glasses for him. How do I know that the glasses are working properly? For about 20 minutes I ask him to read letters/numbers from close and far both with and without the glasses and he is able to tell me the correct letter/number each time. I don’t know how to test to see if my sons glasses are doing what they need to do as he seems fine both with and without them. Thanks.


    • It’s so hard to tell at that age and especially with a farsighted prescription because kids can accommodate to focus through the farsightedness – it causes eye strain and eye fatigue and can lead to crossed eye – so there’s long term benefit, but that makes it hard to see immediately if they’re helping.

      Some things I noticed was that Zoe was noticeably more tired if she went a day without glasses. I also observed that her eyes turned dramatically without glasses – that was because she’d grown used to seeing clearly with glasses so she’d cross her eyes as soon as they came off to try to continue focusing. It wasn’t until she was 6 or 7 that she was able to articulate how she saw better with glasses.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi , I found out two months ago that my 4 yr old son is extremely far sighted ( +7.5 and +8.5 !) he thankfully ( and amazingly !) hasn’t developed a squint and the optometrist is hopeful that now he has adjusted well to the lenses . His eyes should remain straight . I’m slowly coming round to the fact that he will always need glasses , but finding it hard to get used to seeing his eyes magnified , does anyone have any tips on choosing the best frames or lenses to reduce this effect ? I have got him high index aspheric lenses , but they still magnify his eyes a lot !


  14. Hi, we recently took our daughter to get her eyes tested and turns out she needs glasses. We were all excited and made it such a positive experience and she got to pick her frames which she absolutely adores. She walks around the house, peering in every surface at her reflection and pulling little model type poses which is so sweet. She really does love her new look. All of this has occurred during the school holiday break and next week she’s back off to school. The question I have is how do we prepare her for what she might experience in the playground by way of other children teasing her? The protective part of me want’s to warn her but another side of doesn’t want to raise the issue because in doing so I feel like it’s actually making it an issue which could make her self conscious for no reason?


    • I’m so happy she’s loving her glasses, that’s awesome!

      How old is your daughter? I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by the fact that Zoe hasn’t had to deal with any teasing or mean comments about her glasses. I can’t promise that your daughter won’t have to deal with teasing, but it does seem that glasses aren’t perceived as poorly as they used to be.

      I think I would bring up the fact that kids are likely to comment on her glasses, and maybe role-play how she responds to questions or comments about them. But I think I wouldn’t raise the issue of teasing if it hasn’t already come up.


  15. We are starting the process of adopting a little boy that has bilateral congenital diffuse cataracts. He will be 2 in august and there has been no corrective measures to be able to correct his vision. By the time we bring him state side, get him on our insurance, and get him into seeing doctors he will be 3. Will a corrective cataract surgery at that point even be worth it? Will it actually enhance his vision?


  16. My 2 and half year old was just told sge needs glasses due to one eye is seeing better than the other and the dr is concerned her one eye will stop lining up with the other. She actually passed the vision test but failed the test with refraction. Has anyone ever gone through this. Dr said glasses might not be forever as she may grow out of this, but like many others I have spent 2 days blaming myself and crying. I know it’s all good but just just feel lost.


    • Hi Niki, that’s not the situation we had, but when one eye is seeing better than the other, it really is important to correct so that they don’t develop amblyopia. Please, please don’t blame yourself! You did nothing wrong, and everything right by getting her vision checked.


      • I am happy we found out sooner than later, just a shock to my system. While reading other post I saw a lot of people with the plus signs on their scripts. Am I correct that means difficulty seeing things up close? She has +.50 for the top number and +3.0 for the lower. Just trying to learn as much as I can before next week when the glasses come home.


  17. Hello! We are anxiously awaiting our specialist appointment next week. All signs point to my 2 year old being farsighted… one eye has begun to cross when looking at things up close.

    My sweet boy has always been just a bit behind reaching his milestones- I’m wondering if that is due to not quite being able to see he world as he should. Has anyone noticed that after glasses their toddler seemed to flourish in other areas of development?


  18. Hello,
    My son is 5 years old, he got Conjunctivitis, i took him to doctor. doctor given some eye drops along with it he did the eye test. he prescribed the spectacles. they have one eye +0.5 and another +0.75 with some spherical access/cylinder values. i googled and came to know that at this age this is normal and glasses are not required unless they are more than +2.0 and this will reduce as he grow up. i already purchased the glasses but not confident whether to wear the glasses or not. the doctor told me to wear this for the next 6 months and asked me to visit again after 6 months to check.. he says it may reduce/not reduce.. kindly suggest whether i have to let my kid wear the glasses or not.

    kindly reply me asap as currently he is using eye drops for Conjunctivitis.

    Thank you very much


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