In March 2016, I posted an article about my nephew who was found to have a significant eye prescription following his first eye exam when he was six months old. Halton wore glasses from that first eye exam and adapted to wearing glasses very well for his young age. He also required doing vision therapy – including patching of one eye to strengthen the weaker eye, and when that improved, he began doing eye exercises to help strengthen his eye muscles, so they work together properly and develop strong and equal vision.
Halton is one of a set of triplets, but at that initial eye exam, he was the only one of them that was found to have a vision problem. Of course, we continued to monitor his eyes, and his brother and sister, on a regular basis. It wasn’t until near four years of age that the second boy, Declan, was found to have a significant prescription as well. Declan also has to wear glasses full-time and is monitored frequently to make changes to enhance his vision improvement. The boys are in grade one now and have strong, stable vision, but of course, they still need to wear their glasses. Their sister, Fallon, still has no eye problems.
The interesting story is that in both cases, prior to Halton’s first exam at age six months, and before the four-year-old exam findings for Declan, there were no symptoms by their parents, nor myself as their aunt and eye doctor. That goes to show how well the vision system can cover up eye problems that actually need to be corrected. With vision affecting 80% of learning, if they had not received their glasses before entering school, they most certainly would have had difficulties associated with their vision limitations once starting school. It also would have been more difficult to get used to the glasses and have a higher chance of being left with permanent lazy eye.
And what about wearing glasses as active six-year-olds…. The boys absolutely know they need them to see properly. They start their day wearing their glasses as soon as they are out of their PJ’s! They wear them through all activities, even sports, due to having such high prescriptions. The toughest part is the roughhousing. It can be a challenge to the child if they can’t wear their glasses, not to mention the parents having to get the glasses repaired! They each have a spare set on hand, so there is always another wearable pair available between broken parts!
There are many materials and frame designs that can help with the sport and accident-prone wearer! Also, lots of fun colors and styles to choose from, which helps the young wearer be enthusiastic about wearing glasses! They don’t know any different- soon it becomes part of them- their signature- such that they even look less themselves without the glasses!
So, no need to worry if your child is found to need glasses at a young age. The important thing is that the problem is found early, and can be treated. And you might even enjoy the uniqueness of them wearing glasses.