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My Daughter Says She Can't See Out of Her New Glasses...

My 2 yr old daughter was having an issue with a "lazy eye" (her right eye didn't seem to track as well as her left, moving slower and inward). The pediatrician referred us out to a ophthamologist, who did several checks and tests, and determined that she was far-sighted and said she needed to wear glasses.
We were a litte thrown off by this, as my daughter has never shown any difficulty in seeing. She's very observant, loves to read and identifies letter and numbers. We absolutely wanted to do what was the best for her, so we have been talking very positively about her new glasses.
We picked them up today, and she has only worn them a few hours. She is complaining that she can't see out of them. She has no problem keeping them on and wears sunglasses just fine, but to look at a book or watch a movie, she is trying to look over them. When I encourage her to keep them up, she says she can't see.
My question is how long do I try and keep her wearing these glasses, before I call the ophthomolgist and have her reevaluated? The technician at the eye glass place mentioned that they are a very strong prescription, and I have a hard time believing that her vision was that bad and we had no signs.
Thanks for any advice you may have!

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My daughter had something very similar and the eye dr gave her half of the prescription for the first 6 months. He said if he made it as strong as she needed she wouldn't want to wear the glasses. She got used to the first pair, wore them for 6 months and we went back and got the full prescription. We noticed her eye was crossing towards the end of the day at bed time. I think they strain their eyes to see everything, but they can't control it when it is towards the end of the day and they are tired.

I might take her a while to adjust to seeing out of them.
I wear glasses to drive, and it took me forever to get used to them. My eyes just don't adjust easily to things like that. My sons vision was really bad, and we had no idea until he started looking cross eyed, so we took him to an eye dr. He has an astigmatism, and can hardly see out of his right eye!!!
W. m.

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I'm surprised that her eye doctor did not suggest an eye patch to strengthen the weaker eye. That's what I had when I was a child. However, my lazy eye was way too weak to be strengthened, so I have lived my whole life with basically no depth perception and I can read nothing out of my bad eye. In order for an eye patch to work, it has to be started really young. If your child says that she can't handle her glasses, believe her. I've been overprescribed and had to have my perscription adjusted. You might want to get a second opinion from an eye doc who deals a lot with amblyopia and strabismis(sp?). If you want any lasting improvement (not just glasses), this has to be delt with now, while your child is young. Depending on how severe her eye is, this can have a real impact on her life. There is also surgery to straighten the wandering eye. As I was not a candidate, I don't know much about that. Do some research. It's worth it!!

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HI B.~

I didn't read all of the responses so sorry if this is redundant. Our daughter has a lazy eye too and we didn't have any idea until she had a basic eye test at 4 years old!

Your daughter probably can't see out of her new glasses. Our Dr. told us that lazy eye is a neurological as well as vision problem. For whatever reason the brain does not recognize the messages from the lazy eye and the other eye compensates. The way that they make the lazy eye "work" is to blur the good eye to trigger the brain to use the other eye. I would call the ophthalmologist and tell them that she can't see and doesn't want to wear them and that they need to lessen the Rx on the weak eye. She absolutely needs to wear her glasses to get that lazy eye working, but it can be a more gradual process than what they are doing.

I would also recommend a PEDIATRIC opthamalogist. We have used Dr. Miller in Woodland and just got referred to Dr. Sutterfield in Sacramento. If you have more questions e-mail and I'll be happy to share our experience and/or information.

Good Luck! J.

We had the same issue with 22 mo old. The glasses to fix far-sightedness do not actually make thier vision better but make both eyes see the same. One better. One worse. This make the "Lazy eye" work more to strengthen it. We had to get a prescription for Atropine drops to dialate our son's eyes which makes his vision blurry. Then when you put the glasses on it makes them see better until they get used to thier glasses. Talk to your Opthamologist again and see what he can do for you. Just don't give up. Good Luck. Our son loves his glasses now after 2 months and has no problems wearing them all day, everyday.

I might take her a while to adjust to seeing out of them.
I wear glasses to drive, and it took me forever to get used to them. My eyes just don't adjust easily to things like that. My sons vision was really bad, and we had no idea until he started looking cross eyed, so we took him to an eye dr. He has an astigmatism, and can hardly see out of his right eye!!!
W. m.

Hi B.,
As a child I had great vision until about the 4th grade. I remember always having an small adjustment period to new glasses, but it was always a bit of a depth perception problem, never "I can't see out of them". When a person has a serious vision problem and they look through glasses and can see, it is such a delight. I don't believe Scarlett is misinforming you. I wouldn't make her wear them until I had made sure that there was nothing wrong with the prescription or the glasses.

As a side note, my younger sister had a lazy eye and had surgery back in the fifties and has never had further problems with her eye.
Blessings to you and your family.

Hi B.,
As I read your posting, I kept thinking that this sounds just like our story a few weeks ago (with a daughter the same age)! My daughter had the exact same problem with her eye and the same diagnosis. We got her glasses a few weeks ago and at first didn't push her to wear them more than a short time. We also were worried because they seemed so strong. So she just wore them a little at a time and allowed her to say when she needed a break.

Then yesterday we had a followup appointment with the opthomologist which was very helpful with many of our questions. He let us know that she the only way they were going to help her was if she wore them full time. We talked about all of this in front of her and asked him to let her know that it was important for her to wear them at all times other than when she's sleeping or bathing. This seemed to help encourage her to wear them. She still occasionally takes a break from them but we try to make them short breaks (like yesterday when we went for a walk she took them off when we stopped to sit down -- I let her know she could take a break while we were sitting but when we got back up, she'd need to wear them again). She seems to be getting more used to them.

So I just wanted to give you some encouragement to not give up! And to ask questions to your opthomologist. This was very helpful to us.

Good luck, B.

My son had the exact same problem with his eyes. I was also thrown by the fact that he needed glasses. My son didn't take to it that easily. It was a struggle to get him to wear them but after a few days of enforcing it, he seemed to do just fine with them. The doctor also gave us drops to put in his eyes to dilate them-so when he wore the glasses he would be able to see better through the glasses. This didn't really work for us-but you might want to try it. When we first got the glasses they told me that the prescription was very light. I took him back to the eye doctor a month later and they ended up changing the prescription to be a little stronger and now he has to have bifocals. It has been over a year now and he still needs to wear them but his eyes have actually improved. My son does take breaks from his glasses every once in a while. I will let him take them off for short periods at a time-usually when he is tired. You should probably get the prescription checked-as I don't think it is supposed to be very strong. It will take time for your daughter to get used to them though-as the glasses are like a magnifying glass in front of your eyes. It is funny at first but she will get used to it. Good luck!

I'm not sure where in the Bay Area you live but you might also check in with the UC Berkeley Eye Center to see if they will take a look at your daughter. I think they have a program for children there and that clinic is open to the public.

J. F.


I would suggest taking the glasses back and having the technician recheck the prescription to the glasses. My grandmother had problems with her glasses repeatedly and most times the prescription was not quite right. If the glasses are correct to the prescription, you might try having your daughter put the glasses on first thing in the morning before her eyes have gotten used to seeing without the glasses (this worked for both me and my husband when we first got glasses). If neither helps, definitely go back to the opthamologist and let him/her know what problems your child is having. If they do the tests for a young child the same way that they do for an adult (asking which of two sometimes very similar views are best) the eye test results could easily be wrong. If you don't trust this doctor then get a second opinion.

Hope this helps!

Hi B.,
my daughter has a lazy eye also. When she got her glasses for the first time at 5 she was amazed at how much better she could see. i would definatly go back to the eye doctor to talk about your concerns.
its hard to notice a lazy eye as a parent unless the eyes turns in, sometimes the eye lid looks more droopy when the child is really tired. Its hard to notice because the other eye will compensate.
There is an eye therapy you can do which should work well as she's so young, its pricey but worth it.
I would get another opinion if it puts your mind at rest, you can never be too careful with eyes.
good luck.

Hi B.,

My daughter has good 20/20 vision but still needs the glasses to help with the lazy eye. Her brain is favoring the left eye and ignoring the right, so my daughter uses her muscles to hold her R eye straight. By the end of the day her muscles were so tired that her eye would fall in. She is a bit older and just got her glasses in Jan. The dr. told me it was going to be like riding a bike, she has to get use to wearing them. For about the first three days, we would let her "take breaks" from wearing them. Each time she put them back on, she kept them on longer and longer. She also said that she couldn't see, but that is just part of getting use to them and knowing how to use them. My daughter also has the bi-focal at the bottom. I also wore mine a little more than I usually do to make her feel comfortable and that she is not the only one who wears them. Now she doesn't even know they are on and she'll ask for them if she forgets to put them on in the morning. Try doing it slowly and she'll get use to them. After about 2-3 weeks there were no issues. One more thing, my daughter who is 5 thought she looked ugly is why she said she didn't want to wear them and felt like everyone was looking at her. As we were out I showed her that no one was looking and they are not thinking that it's not normal and that once we get past all those who know you and ask about them, it will stop and it will be normal. So, I had to also tell people not to talk about them so much because it makes her uncomfortable that it's noticeable.

My other daughter who is 7 just got tested yesterday and she has perfect vision, but is near sighted and needs glasses for reading, doing homework or on the computer. So having perfect vision is different from having other issues going on. My vision as well is 20/20 and I need glasses for the same things as my 7 year old. good luck, be patient, it will work out in time.


There is always an adjustment with new glasses, she is used to seeing things her way which maybe inaccurate but it is is what she is used to. If she can't get used to the new way of seeing, then your instinct about it being too strong a prescription is probably right. You might want to get a second opinion rather than just going back to the same guy. Some of these eye doctors are in the business of selling glasses rather than helping people to see. That is not to say that your optometrist is one of them, I think fitting glasses to such a young child must be very difficult.

My daughter had something very similar and the eye dr gave her half of the prescription for the first 6 months. He said if he made it as strong as she needed she wouldn't want to wear the glasses. She got used to the first pair, wore them for 6 months and we went back and got the full prescription. We noticed her eye was crossing towards the end of the day at bed time. I think they strain their eyes to see everything, but they can't control it when it is towards the end of the day and they are tired.

Do not have her wear the glasses. My son has been being observed since he was 3 months old due to his "lazy eye" Most Dr.s don't recommend glasses til later.

Get a 2nd opinion and google "strambius", "brown's syndrome", "amblyopia" and "superior oblique palsey". We have Kaiser and am seeing 2 opthamologists at once to determine what is going on with his eyes. The fact that one eye difts is a classic symptom of strambius. When you are far sighted, your eye's do not drift.

Find another opthomalogist that speicalizes in pediatric eye care. You need a opthomalogist that specializes in children to get the right diagnosis. Even if this one does, get a 2nd opinion and go with your gut. By having her wear those glasses you could be making her eye sight bad. Google those common childhood eye conditons and get another dr and bring up those conditions to him and see what they say. Good luck.

I would call the dr. and schedule an appt. and ask that her vision be checked with and without the glasses. Explain the problem. I'm sure they'll work with you. If not, get a new doc. I have a great one in Los Gatos, CA. if you need one.


Good morning B., Just having gone through my own personal not so light experience with glasses, which I have worn for many years, my suggestion is to have them rechecked some where else or another doctor and see the findings. Believe your daughter when she says she cant see. It it most possible they made a grave error in her perscription and the present glasses really do not work for her. Therefore her eyes you may be hurting rather than helping. For myself the lab technician was the one who figured out my perscription was all wrong in one eye and therefore causing terrible headaches. All is well now and I hope all will be well for your daugter. Good luck.

Hi B.

Did the eye doctor give an indication as to when or if your child should be brought back in? I would say (generally) speaking why not give it a week, if she is still having problems seeing then take her back.. Also, it IS true that your child can show no signs (especially at 2) My son is 7 and has worn glasses since he was about 5 1/2 and yes, we saw NO signs of him having problems seeing.. he seemed to read well , never complained of not being able to see clearly , so I do believe a child may not be able to realize there is a problem. In addition, they aren't always correcting a big problem now but are eliminating a bigger problem then if your child didn't have the glasses. In the beginning our son didn't feel comfortable wearing his glasses either and for a few months, he didn't want to.. but now.. he wears them all the time and without a problem..
best of luck to you!

Dear B.,
I would definitely talk with the eye doctor and see what he says. Hopefully, he has lots of experience with children's vision issues.
My eyes are really bad, which I knew, and I just got my new glasses last week. I'm still trying to get used to them. I was so used to not being able to see that once I could, it literally made me sick to my stomach.
If your current doc doesn't have any suggestions, you should get a second opinion.

Take care.

Definitely get a second opinion.

My 2.25 yr. old son also wears glasses and has been wearing them for about 5 months. He too is far-sighted (6.0/6.0). From what I understand, children can "force" themselves to see even if it's difficult. Thus, she will have to re-learn to see with the glasses.

We were encouraged to keep him entertained as much as possible on the first day wearing glasses so that he didn't realize that they were on. He woke up, and we let him watch TV for the first time. He was entranced by Elmo and was able to keep them on for about 10 minutes before taking them off. Everytime he took them off, we reminded him that they would help him. Then we took him to the park, out to lunch - kept him busy for the rest of the day and he did keep them on for longer lengths (maybe 20 minutes - 30 minutes). This went on for quite a few days.

I think it took about 2 weeks for him to be completely comfortable in them. It took A LOT of activities, reminding and assuring, but he now LOVES them. We keep it by his bed and he puts them on when he wakes up, takes them off to sleep.

Give it some time and keep reminding her that she needs them. However, if she is saying that it's difficult for her to see, I wouldn't hesitate to give her a second opinion. We too were shocked at how far-sighted our son was and did get him re-evaluated to make sure.

A second opinion would not hurt and might help if there was an error made. Accidents do happen with glasses and also, you daughter may have been very nervous at the first eye exam. I would get another opinion and have the glasses reevaluated.

Well for starters I myself have the lazy eye and I am far sighted. As a child I don't remember showing any signs until I was in 2nd grade. I had problems coloring with a yellow crayon. When I got my glasses they seemed weird wearing them while walking but I don't remember having problems looking through them. Being she is so young I would suggest taking her back for a reevaluation. Even as adults prescriptions are prescribed to strong and they need to be lightened up. Trust me I am now 34 and been wearing glasses since I was in 2nd grade so I have had my fair share of re-evals.

Now on another note... my niece has a lazy eye. She has been to the optometrists for plenty of visits and you will never believe it but they don't do anything!! They said she sees fine she just has what's called a wondering eye. She has had this since she was about 1. What they told my sister to do is to close her eyes and count to 10. She will get use to this ritual. When we see my nieces eye start to drift we tell her to close her eyes. She counts to 10 and they are back in alignment. They said the only problem with that is when she gets tired her eye will drift. The wondering eye does cause some double vision in some cases but don't fix what isn't broken. I strongly believe if glasses are to strong for your eyes they will worsen them. Btw.. my niece is now 7 and still no problems just an occassional wondering eye but nothing major.

Another thing... if they told her to wear a patch (which they should have) be persistant on it. As a child the eyes can fix themselves. As an adult a patch can no longer do any good. As that saying goes "if I would have known then what I know now" trust me I would have wore that patch.

Hi B.,
I didn't read all the responses, but wanted to respond since I had a lazy eye as a child. They didn't figure it out until I was in 6th grade! Hence, I remember very clearly the first time I wore glasses. It made me feel sick to my stomach, and the floor seemed like it was at a weird angle. I would get awful headaches as well. But, they were the correct prescription. It was just very hard on my eyes to learn to work together and for my brain to process signals from both eyes.

I'm glad for your daughter that you caught this early. After this initial period of adjustment, she will probably find her glasses to be more of a help than a hindrance. If she is still having trouble in a week, I'd take her back to the opthamologist for a re-check just to be sure everything is going as planned.

My son had lazy eye as a child as well. He wore prescription glasses from age 2 1/2 to about age 7 or 8. We also put a patch over his good eye to force the lazy one to function more normally. This part took a couple of years. He's 34 now and has had no vision problems since he was a young child. I would expect comments from your daughter about how much clearer or brighter everything is, not that she can't see. Take her and her new glasses to a different doctor for a second opinion. I did exactly that, when in my 20's, my expensive, highly sought after eye doctor in Los Gatos gave me contact lenses that were too big for my eyes. After working up to full time wear the pain became incredible, at which point she would tell me I wasn't caring for them properly and I had an eye infection. This happened twice with my new prescription. Time #3 she was out of town so I went to the doctor on call who diagnosed the real problem. The corneal abrasions were so severe at that point I couldn't wear contact lenses again for more than 10 years. The point here is that doctors can make mistakes, though my experience has been that they don't always own up to it. I've found a great eye doctor in the Almaden area of San Jose. Since I'm not sure where you're located, let me know if you want contact information.

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