Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Does My Child Need Glasses?

That's a question I get asked a lot (and weirdly, I'm not an optician)

I'm asked a lot because two of my boys wear glasses and the younger of the two has quite noticeable glasses. He's had them for almost two years now but we have had problems along the way.

Other parents seem to want to talk to me about eye problems because they don't know what to do.  I'm not entirely sure, like I say, I'm not an optician but I do know when there's a health problem, as a mother you know when it needs sorting and you know when you're being fobbed off.

Our story is that when he was four, during the Easter Holidays, he was being extremely clumsy.  I've always thought he was a clumsy child but when he kept bumping things, I knew it needed sorting.  We went for an eye test at the local optician that day. 

The eyetest for pre-readers is done with pictures.  The optician immediately spotted a problem and referred us to the hospital.  We got the appointment there at the beginning of June.  It seemed like an eternity.  He got his glasses and could see.  It was great.  Then his head grew.

There isn't a large range of kids glasses available.  The ones that are, are great, fashionable and the latest characters but there's not a size difference.  So the styles that fit my 6 year olds head were actually designed for an 8-12 year old.  The frames were too narrow and he was looking over the top.  I was convinced they had not been made correctly and took the new glasses to a different optician to be checked and they were indeed correct.  It was my son who was not using them correctly.

Thankfully, one dispensing optician found a pair of aviator style glasses which are the correct size for his head and work well with his thick lenses.  Unfortunately, several children were nasty at dinnertimes and said he wore grandad glasses which was difficult to deal with.  We reassured him he looked just like a pilot and that the kids just didn't know what was fashionable.  It worked.

My advice for under 5's

1.  If you think there's a problem, ask your health visitor to refer you for a check.

2. Ask nursery if they feel your child has a problem seeing either close up or at a distance

3. Does Your Child talk to you and others right in your face?  Mine did until he got glasses

4. Choose glasses that cannot be looked round, over or under

5. Get a good fit and when your child grows, take them back to be adjusted

I hope our journey helps and eases any worries you have about your child's eyes.

Hopefully, he will have grown out of needing glasses by age 11 because he got glasses at a young age.

Unfortunately my 12 year old isn't as lucky as his short sightedness was only picked up in Year 5.  He's getting contact lenses, but that's another blog post!

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