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Childrens Eyecare
Glasses for Children

Why does a child need glasses?

Children may need glasses for several reasons – some of which are different than for adults. Because a child’s vision system is growing and developing, especially during the first 5/6 years of life, glasses may play an important role in insuring normal vision development. The main reasons a child may need glasses are:

1) To provide better vision, so that a child may function better in his/her environment
2) To help straighten the eyes when they are crossed or misaligned (strabismus)
3) To help strengthen the vision of a weak eye (amblyopia or “lazy eye”). This may occur when there is a difference in prescription between the two eyes (anisometropia)
4) To provide protection for one eye is the other eye has poor vision.

How can a child be tested for glasses, especially in infancy or early childhood?

An ophthalmologist can detect the need for glasses through a complete eye exam. Typically, the pupils are dilated in order to relax the focusing muscle of the lens n the eye, so that an accurate measurement can be obtained. By using a special instrument, called a retinoscope, Dr McCreery can arrive at an accurate prescription. You will then be advised whether there is a need for glasses.


What are the different types of refractive errors (need for glasses) that can affect children?

There are 4 basic types of refractive errors:

1) Myopia (near sighted): This is a condition where the distance vision is blurred, but a child can usually see well for reading or other near tasks. This occurs most often in school-age children, although occasionally younger children can be affected. The prescription for glasses will indicate a minus sign (for example, -2.00).
2) Hyperopia (far-sighted):– Most children are far-sighted early in life. This is normal and does not require glasses as they can use their own focusing muscles to provide clear vision for both distant and near. When an excessive amount of far-sightedness is present, the focusing muscles may not be able to maintain clear vision. As a result of this, problems such as crossing of the eyes, blurred vision, or discomfort may develop. A prescription for hyperopia will be preceded by a plus sign (+3.00).
3) Astigmatism: Astigmatism is caused by a difference in the curve of the cornea which is the clear dome on the anterior part of the eye. Instead of being shaped like a perfect sphere (like a soccer ball) the eye is shaped with a greater curve in one axis (rugby ball). If your child has a significant astigmatism, fine details may look blurred or distorted. Glasses can correct the optical defocus. A prescription for astigmatism will look something like this + 2.00 + 2.50 X 90.
4) Anisometropia – Some children may have a different focusing power (prescription) in each eye. This can create a condition called amblyopia, where the vision in one eye does not develop normally. Glasses (and sometimes patching) are needed to insure that each eye can see clearly.

How will I ever get my child to wear glasses?

Most children who need glasses will wear their them without a problem because they do make a difference to their vision. Initially, some children may show some resistance to wearing glasses, but it is necessary for parents to demonstrate a positive attitude. Some toddlers may wear the glasses only when they are in a good mood and reject them (and everything else) when they are not. Getting a good frame fit by an optician who is experienced in pediatric eyewear is also of great importance. The frame should be very comfortable with the eye centered in the middle of the lens. Many children’s frames have soft, comfortable cables that fit around the ears.


Does my child need bifocals?

Children occasionally need bifocals. These are usually children who have crossed eyes (esotropia) and need bifocals to help control the crossing. Also, children who have had cataract surgery often need bifocals or reading glasses.

Will wearing glasses make my child’s eyes worse of more dependent on them?

No, in fact the opposite may be true. If a child does not wear the glasses prescribed, normal vision development can be adversely affected.


To book an appointment or to enquire further please contact us on 01-210 3653, or through our contact form.
T: +353 1 210 3653, +353 1 244 0698
F: +353 1 283 6030
E:[email protected]
Suite 10, Blackrock Clinic, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
Temple Grove House,Temple Rd,Blackrock, Dublin.
CRO No: 470658
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