My 22 M/O Needs Glasses

Updated on March 02, 2008
R.P. asks from Deerfield, IL
16 answers

I feel like crying. My little man is "very far-sighted" and needs glasses. I can't get him to wear a hat in freezing weather. How will I get him to keep on glasses? He's so little and I feel bad he needs to wear glasses so young. Any suggestions on how to keep his glasses on without super-glueing them to his face? Has anyone gone through this and did you see a difference once he/she got the glasses. I feel like Jan Brady, "Oh no! Not...GLASSES!" Ugh!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement and advice. This has really helped us through a tough time. The glasses come in on Wednesday so keep your fingers crossed. Love, R.

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P.D.

answers from Chicago on

What's the biggie? I think Mom is more concerned than 22 M/O...Just get one of those bands that goes onto the glasses, so as to hold it in place...Also, he does not need to wear them 24/7, right? Good luck!

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L.C.

answers from Chicago on

I am so sorry for you, because I have been through it twice!!! Once with my firstborn daughter and once with my son!! Let me scare you into how ugly it can be if you don't get him wearing them. Amblyopia (might be spelled wrong, I'm lazy today!) is the weak muscles causing an oval vision and a weaker eye, which in turn will eventually lead to the brain receiving fewer messages from the eye until the vision loss becomes permanent!!! You do not want that for him, so buck up, groan, count your blessings, and use every trick in the book. My son would mangle a brand new pair of glasses the first day I brought them home and I would find them in a bush or behind a video machine an hour later! Get two pairs, one for home and one for school with detailed instructions for the teacher, and keep on top of it with frequent checks to see if the teacher is doing the job. He must get totally comfortable with wearing them before they can do any patching to strengthen the weaker eye, so time may be critical if they believe he may need patching. Keep at it like there is no other option. It will pay off, or at least relieve years of guilt which I now have, plus an X who thinks he is a better disciplinarian!!! LOL I do promise my little bully snacks or rewards for wearing them successfully all week. Whatever works for your son is what you should do. If money is an issue, ask your school or doctor for a recommendation to the Lion's Club which pays for glasses and will keep you in a second pair if necessary, at least. Those straps may help with some kids, didn't work for mine. Get several Hard Glass Cases whenever you see them at the right price, I find them for a dollar at the dollar tree sometimes and some optomotrists will give the to you for free with Sponge Bob or their Favorite Cartoon on them. The key is to help the child want to take ownership because it involves an interest of theirs.Collect a pile of $2-not very strong- reading glasses for your daughter and him to play with for a while.

PS I have also heard lots of stories where doing nothing works equally as well and at a later time the child had 20/20 vision, including my husband. I still have a slightly weaker eye at age 44, but it has not kept me from anything like driving. The only issue is that when I am tired, I can not focus to read as well.

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J.

answers from Chicago on

R.,

I just quickly scanned the other posts so forgive me if I say some of the same thing. I have a 6 year old that had glasses just before his 3rd birthday, and a 22 month old that will need them. I am waiting until the fall to get the glasses as the Dr said there will be no effect in his sight if I wait rather than get them now, so we are going to do sunglasses this summer to see if that can make the transition better.

Here is some advice for you that I wish I would have had. DON'T let the Dr. talk you into glasses at their boutique. Changes are they will not fix them for free, and do not have a breakage plan. Go somewhere that you can get them fixed for free and if you can, a second pair is not a bad idea. Don't act like it is something that is different. It is like transitioning to a new bed or from the highchair to a booster chair. It happens! Don't expect him to have any more trouble than he did when he outgrew other things and went through other changes. Your daughter may want to play with his glasses and be just as curious about them as he is. My son's older cousins couldn't keep their hands off them, which was a mixed blessing. Because the others thought they were cool, he wore them, but they also helped trash the first $300 pair we got. Maybe get your daughter a pair of sunglasses and poke the lenses out so that they can both be cool together. We all know how positive peer pressure can be. Last, start in the beginning having a special place for his glasses to sleep so you wont have an issue with hunting around to find them every morning. I remember as a kid I NEVER put my glasses in the same place twice but my guy knows where his are all the time!

I totally feel responsible about my boy's eyesight as they take after me rather than my husband who is near sighted. I cried when our oldest got his but there is nothing to be done. You get what you get, and he is going to be the most perfect kid no matter if he has to wear glasses or not. BTW, when my oldest got his glasses we went to Dairy Queen, where we had gone to many times before, and I remember him just looking in the display cases like he had NEVER seen anything like that before. He also reminded us about getting his glasses as soon as he woke up in the morning, they helped that much!

Good luck! I know it's hard to swallow but soon he will be "the cute kid with the glasses!"

J.

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A.C.

answers from Chicago on

Hi R.,

My daughter, also very farsighted (+7.5/+8.5 prescription) started wearing glasses at 36 months. I was upset when I found out she needed glasses and had such poor vision, but I cried when I realized how little she had been able to see before the glasses. She is a super energetic/active girl and I thought we would be in for a fight, but I was wrong. She adjusted to her glasses immediately and never wants to take them off, because she can't see without them. She has been in her glasses a year now and I have never had to remind her to even put them on - I'm sure this is due to her strong prescription and need for them. She also has accomodative strabismus in one eye, so we had to go through vision therapy, wearing a patch for 4 hours a day on the stronger eye for 2.5 months. That was a fight, but worth every tear from both of us because it corrected the strabismus. My only advise (learned from the patching therapy)is to make sure that the glasses are worn consistenly - it is never an option to not wear them - that way he adjusts quickly. The first day she had her glasses, she looked out our front window and saw the rectangular brick sill for the first time - she had never known there were bricks there because she couldn't distinguish the brick/mortar pattern before glasses. The glasses were a blessing because they have allowed her to see things I didn't know she was missing, and her poor vision was caught at an early age to prevent further vision damage. Best of luck to you and your son. If I can help in any way, please email me.

A.

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J.K.

answers from Chicago on

I know you've had a lot of different responses, but I'll add my 2 cents worth. First, make sure you go to a doctor who specializes in children. We live in Naperville and my two children go to Wheaton Eye Clinic which has offices in Wheaton and Naperville. They have special pediatric opthamologists who are great with kids. The right doctor will make sure that you get the right Rx which can be tricky with a child. Then, get the glasses at a place which is good at fitting children. If the glasses fit right, they have a much better chance of staying on. Wheaton Eye Clinic sells glasses on site at both locations and they have a good selection of kids frames. The fitters were very patient and helpful and took the time to pick frames that were both cute and well fitting. Any time we get them bent out of shape, we just drop in for a free adjustment. Plus, they are always running a special on one brand or another so the price isn't astronomical and they have a free replacement policy for one pair for one year as well. My older daughter got glasses at age 2 1/2. I brought her to the eye doctor because my husband and I are both very nearsighted and got glasses at a young age, even though she had not said or done anything that made me think she needed glasses. She was already pretty nearsighted and never once took her glasses off because she was so happy to be seeing clearly. Her little sister got glasses at age 3 and was thrilled to have them just like her big sister. Lots of times kids take their cues from parents, so if you act like its no big deal everything will probably go just fine. Good luck!

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S.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, my son needed glasses for the same reason and he was probably about 2 1/2 - 3 yrs old. It was very difficult in the beginning and we would hide them or leave them places and I would scour the house looking for them! What I did find out is they were not comfortable (from his speech therapist at school...he is delayed and couldn't tell me) and we ended switching to a place that specialized in kids because the eye place we were going to near my home was poor customer service!! I think as long as they are comfortable he will begin to realize that they actually help him see and he will want to wear them. I was too pushy at first and my son was reacting to that. Sounds like your son is a bit stubborn like mine, so maybe go easy on him at first.

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C.N.

answers from Chicago on

I am more curious of how they determined your son needs glasses? My son is 20 mo and I have no idea how to test that but I would like to be able to identify if there is a problem. Also I find, like a previous poster mentioned, that the kids don't have an idea that there is something wrong with things- that it is adults that react and train the kids. My son didn't want to wear a hat for a long time until one day when Dad, Mom and baby all wore hats and suddenly it became a neat thing to do instead of a chore! Now he goes and gets his hat and wants to wear it all the time. I guess what I am saying is if you and your husband don't wear glasses, maybe get some fake frames and wear them to help him ease into the transition. Of course, you know your son best so this may or may not work. Good luck, and I think kids with glasses are adorable ; ).

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S.

answers from Chicago on

I don't have a child with glasses, but my brother and my cousin both had to get glasses at a very early age. They both put them on and would fall asleep at the end of the day wearing them. You son should be able to really notice the difference when he wears his glasses and my guess is that once that happens, you shouldn't have a problem getting him to wear them.

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R.

answers from Chicago on

Hi R.. My daughter also got glasses when she was 22 months. She is now 6. When I went to pick out the glasses they recommended I get the ones that wrap around her ears so they stay on better. I didn't do that, I knew that the lighter weight of the glasses they less she would notice them, but that's just my child. I did have a hard time finding ones that fir her. I ended up going to Eye Boutique in Schaumburg off Wise Rd. They were great there. They filled the prescription and cater to very young children. They have a big variety of small frames and even cut them if they are too big. The only problem I still have are the nose pads. They still sometimes fall off, but Eye Boutique fixes them if you just walk in free of charge and they will adjust them if they become too tight or loose. My daughter kept her glasses on from day one (I think she could actually see again). She is also farsighted and had surgery on her left eye 2 summers ago. You will be surprised at how cute you son looks in the glasses and will get so used to them that he will look strange without them. You will notice the eye doing a little worse once you put the glasses on, but that is because the eye is adjusting to being used again, but it will get better as the eye gets used to the glasses. Prescriptions will get changed about every year. When the glasses are off (bath time) you will see the eye turn, but it's just trying to focus. Ask about using a patch that goes over the glasses for a couple of hours in the morning or night. It will make the other eye 'exercise'. It's best to use it maybe 1 hr. in the morning(put on the patch before you give your child their glasses) and 1 hr. at night (after dinner). If you have anymore questions feel free to email me. I've been throught this with all the same feelings (NOT GLASSES YET!), but it all has worked out good. If you have any questions about the surgery too, let me know. My eye dr. didn't do the suregery until she knew that it was absolutely necessary. The eye dr. my daughter goes to is the best! If you want a second opinion, I can give you her info., she is known all over many towns and states for her work. Good luck and remember to take a picture of your son and you after he gets his glasses, you'll look back and see just how adorable he looked.

R.

[email protected]____.com

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E.G.

answers from Chicago on

R.,
I feel like i'm right back in your shoes. Been there about 2 and a half years ago with my son Michael. I first noticed his eye slowly moving towards his nose. It got worse as the months went on. I wore glasses since I was one myself, so I figured he had the same problem I had "lazy eye". My son is farsided also. He was first told if this problem before he was a year old. He was wearing glasses when he was a year. I was so worried how was i supposed to get a one year old to wear glasses? I just kept telling him about how mommy wears glasses and how cool I look. I started to wear sunglasses even in the house a little hear and there. Ask him to put them on and see how cool he looks. I told my son he has special glasses like mommy to help him see better. I told him he has glasses like superman. He loved this idea, he gets to wear special glasses. So i went out and got special superman sunglasses and carried them around with him all the time and asked him to constantly put them on. When the time can to accutally get his really glasses I was nervous, but to my suprise he put them on. At first it was hard the first few weeks, but after an adjustment he wore them all the time even to bed. He wears the ones with hooks that go around the ears so they won't fall off of his face when he runs around. He is now almost 4 and I can see a change in his eye, and can't get him to take them off. But be aware once he gets used to them, my son now likes to pay hide and seek with his glasses and then mommy has to find them cause he can't remember where he put them. Haha! well good luck, don't worry with time his eye will get better and wearing glasses will be a distant thought.

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M.R.

answers from Chicago on

I read in a magazine recently that they were fitting babies with poor vision with soft or disposable contact lenses. I would investigate this if possbile. I have worn contacts for almost 20 yrs and have had no problems with them. I love the disposable ones because they are easier- just throw them away and don't worry about cleaning them, storage, etc.
Also, when they are in properly, you can't feel them at all!

Sorry I have no other experience, though the headband idea is also a good one, and I would investigate a children's specialist as well.
Take care,
Amanda

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A.S.

answers from Chicago on

My brother had to start wearing glasses when he was 6 months old. I remember he always had ones with earpieces that wrapped around his ears to keep them in place and then also had an elastic band that secured to both earpieces and went around his head. This way it was harder for him to get them off b/c they were tighter around his head. He got accustomed very quickly, though granted he was much smaller and I know kids are much more amenable to things (or more easily distracted anyway) at that age. I'm sure they have things to make the process a little easier as there are a good number of infants and toddlers who wear glasses. I know my mom always took him to eyeglass stores where they had more experience with kids, as opposed to your Pearle or other corner glasses shops.

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L.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

R.,

My daughter needed glasses at about the same age. I was terrified about how to get her to keep them on and not lose them when she throws them off. She actually transitioned very well. The first day she would take them off and we would put them back on. We found telling her if she wanted to play with this... then she would have to wear her glasses. PRetty basic but it worked. She never really struggled with it. After about one week, she was actually reminding me to put them on. I think since her prescription was pretty strong, she really liked wearing them because they helped. She has had them for about 8 months and she does great. She will even now tell kids to not touch them becasue she needs them to see. At the beginning we did tell people to not acknowledge them because whenever someone said something abouthow cute they were or whatever, she would immediately pull them off. Good Luck!!!!

L.

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J.B.

answers from Chicago on

i'm slightly confused here. i'm reading all of these responses and wondering if i need a second opinion for my own son. he failed his pre-school screening and i took him to the dr. she said that he is farsighted, but his eye sight is normal for his age... that you don't have 20/20 vision until about 6 years of age. but as far as getting him to wear them?? good luck, boys are much more active and real 'monkeys'. get his perscription and go the americas best. they have a special going on 2 pairs of glasses for $70.00 plus tax, ins., and protective coating, it will cost about 120.00. at least that's what they quoted me. good luck

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L.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,
My mother says a doctor said that my sister, when she was about the same age as your son, needed glasses. My Mother got the glasses for her and the story goes my sister kept taking them off her head. My Mother would put them on and my sister would take them off. My Mother said that the doctor told my Mother to make her keep the glasses on. My mother found this to be impossible. My Mom called her brother, a doctor, who said to leave it alone. He said that my sister would not go blind and to leave it be. My Mother did just that. As it turned out, years later, when my sister was older and in school, doctors find she has perfect 20/20 vision. She took the glasses off because she could not see! My Mom says that she felt guilty because she actually would strap the glasses to my sister's little head. Now, my sister is 32 and still no glasses.
This does not mean your son does not need glasses. I just wonder what would happen if you waited until your son was older enough to tell you the corrective glasses were perfect for him. Old enough for him to see the value of corrective glasses. Just a thought. I know I would be worried if the glasses were a fight. Good Luck Mom!

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L.I.

answers from Chicago on

R.,
It's not that bad, I know at first it's a shock... but you will get use to it. My son has been wearing glasses since he was 1 1/2. He is having sugery on his eyes because his eye muscles are not lined up together. And he is farsighted as well. Get the glasses that have the ear cable, it will help keep them on. And just make sure he keeps them on. I struggled with him at first, but then they just get used to it. Good luck!

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