When you didn’t wear glasses as a child yourself, it can come as quite a shock when you are told that your child will need to start wearing glasses.
Elliot was 5 when he had a routine eye test at school and it flagged up that his vision wasn’t as it should be. I remember feeling a mix of emotions at the time but the one over riding worry I had, was how he would feel about wearing glasses from a relatively young age.
It hadn’t been noticeable that he had problems and he certainly never told us that he struggled to see well but I guess it’s what he became used to and he wasn’t to know any different. There he was sat at the back of the class not really being able to see the board properly but managing anyway…
When you think about how much children are taught visually at school then you know that it’s incredibly important in your child’s overall development that the sooner vision problems are picked up then the better the outcome is likely to be for them.
After a visit to the hospital to see an optometrist and have further tests taken, it was decided that due to astigmatism in one eye, he would indeed need glasses to correct his vision. He thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and was so excited to set about choosing his new ‘cool’ glasses that he would be able to show off at school.
Immediately I felt better when I realised that he had absolutely no hang ups about being prescribed glasses. It would appear that the hang ups were all mine, where I was worrying about issues I have myself with wearing glasses, they simply weren’t a worry to him.
I’ll never forget that first trip to the opticians to choose his new pair of glasses and how all of my anxiety about it simply dissipated when he was thrilled to discover that there was a pair that would make him look just like Clark Kent from Superman! I realised that they really suited him and that then came to realise that the hardest part about the whole process, wasn’t to be him actually wearing them, it was him actually keeping them intact.
Nearly four years down the line with him wearing glasses and we’ve had a few broken pairs along the way, (despite him having two pairs at a time) but he now has a greater understanding that he needs to look after them and not be careless and because he’s come to depend on them.
Wearing glasses is just part of his everyday life now and we sometimes have to remind him that he needs to take them off, when it’s not sensible or necessary to wear them. He also knows that when he’s tired his eyes will often feel more strained.
As he’s now growing up wearing glasses and having regular check ups, he really doesn’t know any different and I know that in the future, he will make the right choices for him as to what he will wear to correct his vision. I feel that one day he might want to opt to try contacts and it’s useful to know it is safe for children to wear contact lenses.
Feel Good Contacts have a hub that offers lots of really useful information about looking after your own eyes as well as children’s eye health. You can find gain a wealth of knowledge about eye health by visiting their Eye Care Hub.
Children have routine developmental checks when they start school now, but if you have any concerns about your child’s eye health, then it’s always best to get them booked in for a test and they can even have their eyes tested as young as three.
* In collaboration with Feel Good Contacts.