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How to Tell if Your Child Needs Glasses

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When it comes to glasses and kids we often see three scenarios in our offices.  The first is a child who is complaining about blurry vision either when reading books or looking at the whiteboard in their class.  Through testing, we can determine that your child does in fact have a vision problem and we can prescribe appropriate glasses, or contacts for older children.

The second is a child who is also complaining about not being able to see in class and is certain they “need” glasses.  In this case, we sometimes determine he or she doesn’t need glasses, and instead diagnose a case of “I just really want to wear glasses because I think they’re cool.”  In this case, we carefully talk to the parents and let them know that their child’s vision is fine and that glasses aren’t needed. We then present this to the child in a way as to not upset them.

The third scenario is the child who comes in and says that everything is fine with their vision, but during our testing we realize that glasses are definitely needed.

So how do you know if your child needs eyeglasses? The only way to know for sure is to make schedule a yearly eye exam for them. Like everything else going on with their little bodies, their eyes can change seemingly overnight. Thanks to annual eye exams, our doctors can keep tabs on vision changes.

In between those yearly eye exams, here are some things to watch for:

  • Squinting: a classic symptom of either nearsightedness (not seeing well far away) or farsightedness (not seeing well close-up). Glasses may often be needed.
  • Using one eye: if your child closes one eye and it helps them see better, there could be a structural problem like astigmatism.
  • Moving closer to see things: Sitting closer to the television or lowering the head while reading a book are signs your child may be nearsighted and that glasses are needed.
  • Losing place while reading: if your child is having trouble reading due to skipping lines or losing her place, they may have an eye muscle problem or vision problem such as astigmatism.
  • Frequent headaches: frontal headaches or brow aches are often a result of uncorrected farsightedness.

If you believe your child may need glasses, or you haven’t brought them in during the past year, please give us a call so we can get an appointment scheduled with a Carson City, Lake Tahoe, Fallon, or Reno eye doctor. We offer a large selection of glasses for children of all ages, from infants to teens. Our experienced Nevada eye doctors can help you decide if you’d like to add protective coatings or transitional lenses that convert the glasses to sunglasses.

Written by Daniel Rowan

Reno optometrist, Dr. Daniel Rowan, was raised in Western Canada and attended Norwich University in Vermont on a hockey scholarship. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in both biology and sports medicine, he received his Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from the New York College of Optometry in 2001. He performed rotations in a Queens VA hospital, specializing in glaucoma care, and an outpatient eye clinic in the Bronx. Immediately after graduating, he moved to Nevada and is now considered a top Reno optometrist. He is a member of the American Optometric Association and is board-certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry for the treatment and management of ocular diseases.
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