Help Your Child Adjust to New Eyeglasses
We don’t often expect for our child to need eyeglasses, but it can happen. It is important that children undergo thorough eye exams starting around the time they enter kindergarten. Under some circumstances, such as a child squinting or demonstrating other symptoms, an ophthalmic exam may be needed at an earlier age. When prescription eyeglasses are needed, we then cannot expect a child to jump right on board with excitement about their new accessory. Sometimes, children find this change of life to be unpleasant and not worth the improvement they are told they will receive. Here, we want to point out a few ways that parents can help their child get used to wearing eyeglasses for the first time.
- Ensure their comfort. Eyeglasses are a new experience for anyone who hasn’t worn them before. When the fit is too loose or too tight, this experience can also be incredibly frustrating. An adult can identify if eyeglass frames just don’t feel right, but a child may not. This is why it is helpful to have assistance from an experienced optical technician. Parents should also be careful to observe the fit of eyeglasses against the head and on the bridge of the nose to ensure glasses don’t slide down or place pressure that could lead to headaches.
- Let them choose. Children may be more excited to view their new glasses as an accessory if they get to choose the color and other fashionable characteristics of their frames. Most optical centers have a wide variety of styles to choose from.
- Show them others like them. It is not difficult to find beloved characters or role models who wear eyeglasses to show children they are not alone (uh, hello, Harry Potter!). Children who are wearing glasses for the first time may feel different and may worry that they will stand out from the crowd. Children wish to belong and can be made to feel better when they see others like them.
- Provide parameters. It is sometimes challenging to get used to new eyesight, let alone wearing eyeglass frames on the face. Children may resist wearing their new glasses as prescribed. That’s ok. In this instance, parents can set parameters such as “if you wear your glasses for 30-minutes without taking them off, you can remove them for . . .” and give them a set amount of time. A timer can even be set to help the child know they will soon get a break and also when they will need to put their glasses back on.
Our physicians provide comprehensive eye care, including pediatric ophthalmology and vision services. To schedule an eye exam with the friendly team at Eye Institute of Houston, call (713) 668-7337.
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