Eye Care: Reasons for Wearing Glasses

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Children need to wear glasses for different reasons. The reason your child needs to wear glasses is checked below:

  • Myopia (my-OH-pee-ah) ("near-sighted") - Your child can clearly see objects that are close, but needs glasses to clearly see objects that are far away. Normally, a child will not outgrow being near-sighted.  In fact, stronger glasses may be needed until the child is 12 to 14 years of age or possibly longer.
  • Hyperopia (hi-per-OH-pee-ah) ("far-sighted") - Hyperopia is normal in children and does not require glasses. However, if the hyperopia is severe, your child's eyes will have to work harder than normal to focus on close objects.
  • Accommodative Esotropia (ah-COM-mo-DAY-tive ES-oh-TROE-pee-ah) - Your child has excessive hyperopia which causes his or her eyes to cross. Wearing glasses will control the "crossed eyes."
  • Astigmatism (ah-STIG-mah-tiz-um) - Your child's cornea (front part of the eye) is oval-shaped rather than round.  This causes blurred vision which can be corrected with glasses.
  • Anisometropia (an-eyes-oh-meh-TROE-pee-ah) - The two eyes are different which may cause poor vision in one eye.  Glasses help by individually correcting for this difference.

When Glasses Should Be Worn

children participating in activities with glasses

Your child should wear his or her glasses at the times checked below:

  • All the time (except while sleeping)
  • During school
  • While reading and doing close-up activities

Note:  It is important your child wears glasses as directed by the doctor (Picture 1). It will not harm your child's vision to wear glasses longer.

Other Information

  • If your child plays sports, he or she should wear a sport strap for added protection.  You can buy sport straps for glasses where you have the glasses made.
  • The need for glasses or the strength of the glasses may change as the child grows.
  • Being far-sighted is normal for a child and usually does not require glasses.
  • As the child grows, the shape of the child's eyes may change.
  • Yearly eye exams are very important.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

Eye Care: Reasons for Wearing Glasses (PDF)

HH-I-144 3/91, Revised 5/10 Copyright 1991- 2010, Nationwide Children’s Hospital