June 18, 2009,
M.C. asks from Wailuku, HI on March 26, 2009
7 Yr Old Hates Wearing Glasses
My 7 yr old got glasses this fall, for reading only. Now her eye dr. says that she should wear them all the time, because her eyes have too much of an adjustment between wearing/not wearing transitions. She can see OK without them and she can even read without them, but she does get headaches, which means that her eyes are working too hard, so in effect, she does need them. She fights me on wearing them, she cries, takes them off, etc. She has said that nobody talks to her (i.e. makes fun of her) for wearing them and her friends admire the jewels in her frames, but she does not like the way that she looks when she wears them. I got her a really stylin' little glasses case. My husband wears glasses/contacts, but I do not. She has lots of cousins with glasses, but nobody that lives near us that is her friend wears glasses. Any advice?
So What Happened?™
Thanks, everyone for your input. She is complaining constantly, but she has them on. I think deep, deep, deep down she knows they are good for her. I went on line and spent $130 on an American Girl Doll that looks like her and wears glasses. Maybe that will help.
S.M. answers from Dallas on June 17, 2009
I had the same problem with my daughter. She just wouldn't wear them and was embarrassed. This went on for years until I got her a pair with transition lenses (lenses darken in the sun). She thought they were so cool she started wearing them all the time. She asked that her newest pair have regular lenses and she still wears them all the time. Good luck
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T.S. answers from Dallas on June 17, 2009
I sympathize with her. I've been wearing glasses since I was 17 months old and now one of my 7 year olds got glasses this past November. She has adjusted fine, but I was prepared for her to not be too happy. she complains some, but we homeschool, so that helps. She isn't subject to random kids at school making fun of her.
Ever heard of Ficklets? If she's a jewelry girl, she might like these.
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P.G. answers from Houston on June 17, 2009
I used to be an Optician. I helped people pick out their frames and choose lenses based on their prescription and on their wants/needs. My favorite customers were always the little kids. When a young child would come in I would talk to the child and find out what kinds of things they liked, and I would try to find a frame that related to their personality and/or favorite thing. Once the child narrowed down the choices to 3 or less I would invited others that I worked with to give an opinion of how they looked. We all made it a point to be very positive and encouraging, so that the child would feel good about the choice they made.
Because she is complaining of headaches I would suggest the following: 1) have the lenses rechecked to verify the prescription is correct-have this done either by her Optometrist or Opthamologist office and/or at the store where you bought the glasses. 2) if prescription is correct have the doctor retest her eyes-be sure to bring the glasses with you so the doctor can check her vision with and without the glasses on. The prescription may need to be increased or decreased. 3) If prescription is ok, and PD (pupillary distance-very important that this is correct when lenses are cut and placed in frames) is correct have an Optician (preferably one who actually enjoys working with children) take the time to sit with her and adjust the frames to be sure they are comfortable. Sometimes you will have to have them readjusted 2 or 3 times to get them just right. 4) Routinely check the lenses for scratches because that can really give you a headache if you are trying to see through them.
I hope this helps. By the way my oldest son started wearing glasses when he was 9. I was working at LensCrafters at the time, and brought him in on a Sunday when it was slow. I did this so that he would have the opportunity to go inside the lab and actually watch every step of the process of his glasses being made. I worked with a wonderful group of people who made him feel a part of things, and gave him a real sense of pride in wearing his glasses.
Good luck to you!
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J.C. answers from Austin on June 17, 2009
I went through the same thing with my daughter when she was about that age. She had every excuse under the sun for not wearing her glasses, my favorite being that they made her face hot! What we ended up doing was putting her in contacts. It was a lot of work for me, because I had to supervise the insertion and removal, was pretty much responsible for the cleaning, etc. I'm sure it would be easier now (my daughter is almost 29!), with disposables and such. We were reluctant to take the step, but the optometrist was insistent that she wear her glasses, and she was just as adamant that she was NOT going to wear them. It worked out well for us, so I thought I'd throw it in as a suggestion for you.
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K.S. answers from Dallas on June 17, 2009
I came home with a note from the school nurse in 5th grade that I needed to have my eyes checked. At my school they did regular hearing and eye tests as well as checking on vaccinations as such.
My mom took me to the optometrist who said I needed glasses. It was also in the mid-1960's and what was available were black or brown horn-rimmed glasses and pink or baby blue. I couldn't stand the pastels, so I went with black.
I guess now that my mom and the doctor were in kahoots. I cried myself sick begging my mom not to make me get glasses because I would be so ugly. She wouldn't have mercy on me though, so the prescription was for me to wear them when I was watching TV and at some other times. I didn't have to wear them all the time.
So that appeased me and one Sunday morning my dad let me go in to town with him to get the Sunday papers at the drug store. I was watching Sunday morning cartoons and forgot to take my glasses off. I just remember driving down the road and looking out the car window and everything was so clear that I started wearing my glasses all the time after that.
Then we could only afford frames every two years and I grew so quickly that when I look back on the school pictures, I can see that the second year they were way too small for my face. I was also the tallest in my class until 8th grade, girls and boys. I had a brother 14 months younger who had to wear glasses from the age of 4, but I thought he looked cute. My dad also wore glasses, but my mom was one of the first people to be fitted with hard contact lenses. Her father had partial blindness in one eye due to an accident, so he began wearing a contact lens in that eye therapeutically when they were first introduced so he had the connections to get my mother hooked up.
I still hated the glasses so much that I begged my mother to get me contacts when I was in my teens. She told me that I was not responsible enough to take care of them, so I started saving up my money from babysitting and I bought my own first contacts which were actually two pair of hard lenses, one clear and one tinted. With the doctor visits, it cost me $200 in 1972. It was the summer and I figured I would return to school with an extreme makeover. I was buying my own clothes then with my babysitting month and my parents had also divorced with us kids living with our father. I imagined that when I returned to school after summer break, the boys would swarm over me and everyone would be wondering who the new girl in school was.
Well, that didn't happen. I did feel prettier, but everyone still thought of me as the brain and no one (meaning boys) was attracted to me. I was 16 and my parents wouldn't let me date until 16, but no one even asked before or after.
I bought my brother his first pair of contacts. About ten years ago, both of my brothers had laser surgery. I went in for an evaluation a couple years after that and was told that my eyes are too dry for the surgery. They no longer wear glasses. I have worn every kind of soft lens after they came on the market. I liked the extended wear, but my eyes got to a point where I was having smoky vision because of edema in my eye. The optometrist told me not to wear them overnight any more. The few times I risked it or forgot, the same cloudiness occurred, so I started wearing my glasses more and my contacts less.
Then around 40, I got my first reading glasses. Wearing contacts meant using reading glasses and then having two different strengths of reading glasses, one for books and another for computer. I became easier to just wear my glasses although by that point I wasn't satisfied with my vision with glasses or with contacts and reading glasses.
Now at 52, my optometrist has told me that I'm starting to develop cataracts. Eventually, I'll need surgery and I'm looking forward to having corneal implants in the future that will correct my vision so I don't need glasses ... finally! Now I don't have insurance to cover it though. I may have to wait for Medicare!
I have still after more than 40 years had to have my prescription changed every year. It's been almost two years this time and I broke the arm off my most recent prescription, so I'm wearing a prescription that is three years old and after several months, it's about to drive me nuts. In addition to the farsightedness and nearsightedness, I also have astigmatism with fluctuates frequently. I'm not blind, but I'm not a happy camper either. I've been a terrific research subject for the eyecare industry though.
My oldest daughter wanted glasses because they were cool, but when she got them, she wouldn't wear them. She ended up stomping on her first pair and destroying them. When it came to the second pair, she really needed them so she wore them. She started taking ballet and the teacher would not let the students wear their glasses, so we put her in soft lenses when she was 12 or so. She's had a problem of wearing her contacts continuously for weeks and months at a time and developed corneal ulcers at one point. She's now somewhat better at giving her eyes some relief by wearing her glasses. (They have such cute frames now.) She is 28 now.
The other daughter actually works for an optometrist. She's always been more responsible with her contacts and her eyes. We didn't have problems with her when it came to glasses and then contacts. She's 24 now.
My prescription is so strong that I am now getting the ultra thin lenses. When I started out there were glass and acrylic lenses. Luckily, as my prescription has become stronger, I am just behind the curve and the thinner the lenses get, I am right at the top of the range and can wear them. In the olden days, I would be in coke bottle bottom lenses by now. Today, I can get titanium wire frames with ultrathin lenses that are stylish. Since I wear bifocals though, I am limited on the type and size of frames, but at least I have a choice!
Do you know that some people today even wear glasses as a fashion accessory without prescription lenses? Amazing!
Good luck with your daughter! I grew up with folks who had uglier glasses than mine because of vision problems from prenatal German measles (rubella) and a number of different causes. It was some relief that I didn't have that problem. At least my vision can and could be corrected. On my mother's side, my grandfather developed glaucoma in his 50's, but he did not lose his sight to diabetes until he was in his late 80's but he lived until 94. My grandmother had the opposite problem. She developed macular degeneration and kept her growing blindness a secret until shortly before her death at 83. She also had type II diabetes and was almost blind. I think of them as Jack Spratt and his wife. My grandfather was losing his sight from the inside out and she was losing her sight from the outside in. Luckily, I have been followed for both conditions and have shown no signs of either condition.
You might want to look up a foundation called Seva which is dedicated to preserving and restoring sight to people in third world countries. It's similar to Operation Smile, which is for kids with cleft palates. I've also been religious about donating my old glasses to the Lions Club for almost 40 years so that my old glasses can be used by others who cannot afford them. I'm sure those kids don't care if they're ugly and the boys don't flock around them for dates.
A.C. answers from Colorado Springs on June 18, 2009
I had glasses at 7 as well. But my eyesight was so bad that I couldn't see white chalk on the black board from the front row-I was in heaven when I got mine. All you can do is get her cool frames, suggest to your friends that they admire them when they see her & each time she gets a new pair & hope that she'll either grow out of them (I didn't) or give her a grade in school she can look forward to earning contacts. I got mine in 8th grade & had to keep my room clean for 6 mos before I could have them.
I don't know if it's actually the case, but it's worth looking into, to see if not wearing them can make her eyes worse. Maybe that will encourage her to keep them on if she knows not wearing them could make it worse.
C.L. answers from Las Vegas on March 27, 2009
Oh boy, I can totally relate. I was prescribed with glasses at the age of 10 and it was really difficult. I can remember wearing them out the door to go to school but as soon as I turned the corner they came right off. It wasn't until my teacher addressed my mom about my grades, because for me, I couldn't see the chalkboard, etc. Peer pressure is so very difficult at this age and she is feeling like an outcast if nobody else is wearing them (kinda like braces). Maybe you can talk to her friends' parents to see if they can show support for her. Did she get to pick out her own glasses? Needless to say, by the time I turned 12 I was wearing contacts and have been ever since.
A.S. answers from Dothan on June 17, 2009
I think the American Girl doll is a GREAT idea!
D.M. answers from Los Angeles on March 27, 2009
I am with your daughter. Glasses Suck! I hate mine and put off wearing them for as long as I could. It would be very hard to wear them as a child. It's the pain of not wearing them (headaches) that I would focus on with her. Sometimes you have to do things that are hard to help yourself. That's not an easy pill to swallow for a child. Making sure those glasses are as comfortable as they can be may help too. The difference from one frame to another in comfort level is extreme. Often the most comfortable ones break easily, but the extra cost may be worth it if she wears them.
P.S. answers from Macon on June 17, 2009
My daughter's left eye muscles were clipped when she was 3 years old. After that she had to wear glasses until she was thirteen. There were times that she had to be reminded to put on her glasses. It wasn't easy but we took it one day at a time.
M.B. answers from Houston on June 17, 2009
I know this is belated, but there is a cute book by Lane Smith called Glasses--Who Needs 'Em?
D.N. answers from Albany on June 18, 2009
Tell your daughter for me that she is so very lucky to have the glasses that she needs at such a young age. I did not realize that I could not see properly & thought that everyone saw like I did and sometimes saw double. (Lazy eye that goes out to one side when I'm really tired) It wasn't until I was 12 years old and in the sixth grade that it was discovered that I needed glasses. When I got them I was SO HAPPY to be able to SEE! I remember riding home in the car with my Dad and exclaiming: "Wow! Look at all those leaves on that tree!!!! Wow! I can read that sign!" and things like that. I was so happy and I had had no idea that I couldn't really see well before that day. It sure explains why I did so poorly in school but I can't believe the school nurse never caught it until I was 12!!! I think getting the AG doll was a great idea.... that one's Molly, right? Wonderful stories with those dolls. Enjoy!
T.M. answers from Kansas City on June 17, 2009
If they aren't a strong prescription your probably going to have a tough road ahead getting her to wear them.
Yes I had them when I was young, I couldn't remember to wear them, because they were reading glasses.
My granddaughter has needed them for 5 years now and she still fights it, she's pretty good at first, then she eventually looses them
The kids that have really needed them wear them, they make so much difference as to what they see, so it's easy for them to remember and feel like they need them.
Sorry to tell you this, but it's all up to you and the teachers to remember them for her, Good Luck!
V.M. answers from San Francisco on June 17, 2009
Check out the process where your daughter can wear hard contact lenses at night while she is asleep. In the morning the curveture of her eyes will have been flatened and she should be able to see without glasses in the daytime. My sone did this for severl years. It works great for nearsighted kids who are active in sports and do not have a big correction. It will also keep their eyes from steeping as much. In the trails in Japan they found that kids who did this had less of a correction once they turned 24-25 and their eyes stopped growing. I think it is called radiocaritonomey or something similar.
S.D. answers from Harrisburg on June 17, 2009
I got my glasses in the 1st grade. Back in those days glasses were ugly - remember the cat eye things in the early 60's! I deal with this issue a lot a school as I am teacher. Kids can be mean, but kids are mean about tons of stuff, and we have to teach our kids how to deal with it. Both of my children ended up with specs in school as it was in the gene pool. We explained they were just jealous they didn't have a pair too.
First off, make sure they are comfortable. ASK what is uncomfortable. Make her use words to tell you exactly what the problem is - she is old enough. Complaining doesn't cut it, it is just complaining and that won't fix the problem. Then fix what hurts and explain just how important it is to see.
Second, if she can't see she can't learn to read or learn much else for that matter. I didn't even realize that trees had leaves! Compliment her on how she looks - tell her she looks SMART! I tell my kids at school that all the time. Besides who's going to mess with the kids in my room when the teacher wears trifocals! Contacts don't work for me, I just don't see as well and seeing is really important. Play I Spy with and with out the glasses. Don't let her win and she'll see she does better with them.
It will get better in time. Don't let her wear you down with complaining. This is necessary for good eye health and for a good education. You are the mom and the adult and know what is best. Tell her because you love her and want only the best for her this is it, you understand and will do your best to make the most tolerable for her. She will get used to it in time, and she will love and respect you for it in the long run. My 26 and 22 yr olds both do even tho they both still complain now and again.
R.E. answers from Asheville on June 17, 2009
you know the cartoon character arthur whose best friend is dj? he's on tv and he has lots of storybooks too? he has a book about him getting glasses. i used to read it to my classroom. i can't remember the title, but you could look it up on amazon and probably get a copy of it at the library. everyone wants to be cool like arthur! maybe that will help. good luck!
K.Z. answers from Cleveland on June 17, 2009
You know how we often tell and re-tell our birth stories? and sometimes death stories (how so-and-so spent his/her last days or moments on earth)? I think it is a way to process the experience.
Maybe your daughter is doing the same thing.
Allow her to feel whatever she is feeling. You said she is wearing them--I think that is a good sign and that she will eventually come around to where she realizes she needs tehm, and hopefully the complaining will die down.
I complained when I first got mine; what was even more annoying than having them was people telling me I shouldn't feel that way --LOL!
B.C. answers from Joplin on June 17, 2009
M., I had to chime in when I read this post because I understand how your daughter feels...I started wearing glasses in the 3rd grade ( I probably needed them long before then, my parents just thought I was REALLY clumsly lol) but I can remember it Vividly. I HATED wearing glasses. Back then there weren't a lot of choices for kids and they were big thick plastic frmaes, and no such thing as the "feather weight lenses" so I looked like I was wearing coke bottle I swear. Yes they were uncomfortable, yes kids are mean!!! I wish I had some sure fire advice for you but, honestly it took me until I was in my late 20s to even LIKE wearing glasses, and it took me not being able to wear contacts to get to this point. You really need to sit down with her and tell her you sympathize, but that if she doesn't wear them her eyes will get worse, and we only get the one set of eyes. Maybe they are uncomfortable...if money allows maybe she can get more than one frame? Maybe a practical frame and a more fun styled or colored frame? My son has worn glasses since he was young and he likes the flexi-steel kind, he says they are very comfortable...and they even carry a version of those at Walmart. I think it is America's Best that has the two pairs for $69 which seems reasonable.
All the luck to your little girl...it is rough, especially at that young!
J.S. answers from Los Angeles on March 26, 2009
Maybe point out other kids in public who are wearing glasses so she can see that she's not alone or a freak or anything like that. A reward chart for wearing them? This next idea might backfire on you, but I think I'll still throw it out there... maybe talk to the teacher about doing a day where you bring in silly plastic glasses for all the kids to wear so they can have fun wearing them. Or what about talking to her about whether she likes having the headaches... just some thoughts. I have worn both contacts and glasses and I actually prefer to wear glasses. Got tired of poking myself in the eye! LOL
C.D. answers from San Diego on March 29, 2009
My 8 year old loves to where his glass and is even more responsible then my oldest kids that where glasses too. He does tell me nobody makes fun of him. Maybe you should try to reward her by her wearing them when needed. Did she get to pick out her own frames? Maybe that will help. I hope it helps you.
T.F. answers from Los Angeles on March 29, 2009
I've been wearing glasses since I was little. When I was young (1970s) my mom could only afford the UGLY plastic colored glasses.
It doesn't matter that the case is stylin' - if the frames make her feel ugly, that's a major consideration.
So now I'm 40 and I've tried LOTS of different glasses over the years (I prefer contacts, but still wear glasses from time to time, driving at night, home alone, whatever) and I FINALLY found a comfortable, attractive frame company.
They literally do not hurt the sides of my ears. I feel like I'm wearing AIR (they are SO light) and best of all, they look awesome. Seriously, this is the first pair I wouldn't mind wearing during the day.
I never got teased as a kid for it, but when you wrote "she complains of headaches" that reminded me of something else... In my 20s, I sometimes ran into optometrists who gave me the FULL prescription and guess what - headaches. So if it a good optometrist, he'd change the prescription a level down and I could see fine and no headaches, but one time, the jerk wouldn't change them and I was stuck. I never went back to that doctor, but then I knew (both my trusted optometrist and I) that I never wanted the full prescription.
Those headaches are no fun. Please be considerate of your daughter and take that complaint seriously. You can't change the teasing, but you can help to make her more comfortable in them.
S.H. answers from San Diego on June 18, 2009
I had to wear bifocals when I was 8 years old. HORRIBLE MISTAKE. At that age, my eyesight was getting worse so rapidly that I needed to get new glasses every 6 months.
I had 3 eye doctors tell me that I could never wear glasses.
In high school. I saved my own money to order contact lenses. (Eventually my Dad paid for them) but I was determined to have them.
I have now worn contact lenses for 47 years. In that time I have only had to change prescriptions 3 times and my eyesight has actually improved! (I still wear gas permeable lenses) Also want to suggest eye exercises & eye therapy for your daughter. It could keep her out of glasses entirely. Good luck to you both