Kids’ FAQ about myopia and wearing glasses
Why do I need to wear glasses?
You need to wear glasses because of a condition called myopia (my-oh-pea-uh).
With myopia, things you look at up close, like a tablet or a book, appear clear. But things that are far away, like the board at school or the TV across the room, seem blurry.
Wearing glasses will help everything look clear, whether you’re looking at something close or far away. So, while you may not be super excited about wearing glasses (yet), they will make it easier for you to see clearly, which is totally worth it!
How bad is my vision?
It’s difficult to say how “bad” your vision is without seeing your vision prescription. Myopia is measured in diopters, which are units of measurement like inches or feet. Eye doctors use diopters to describe the strength (or power) of the lenses in your glasses.
If you have myopia, your vision prescription will have a minus sign (-) in front of the number. The number usually starts at -0.25 and increases in 0.25 increments (-0.50, -0.75, -1.00, etc.). The higher the number after the minus sign, the more severe your nearsightedness.
For example, if your prescription is -0.25, your vision is still pretty good even though it’s not perfect. But if you have a prescription of -3.25 or higher, your distance vision may seem pretty blurry.
It’s possible for myopia to get worse over time, which is why it’s important to get an eye exam every year if you wear glasses.
Does having myopia mean you will need to take my eyeballs out?
Absolutely not! Myopia is a very common condition that can be fixed with a pair of glasses or contact lenses. Rest assured, your eyeballs get to stay safely in your head.
Does everyone with glasses have myopia?
Not everyone who wears glasses has myopia. There are many different reasons someone may need to wear glasses.
For example, someone could have hyperopia (hi-per-oh-pea-uh), which is the opposite of myopia. People with hyperopia can see things that are far away clearly, but close objects seem blurry.
Another reason someone may need glasses is to correct astigmatism (a-stig-muh-tis-um). This condition has to do with how light focuses within the eye, and can make things look blurry at any distance, near or far.
Can I pick out my own glasses?
Yes! As long as your parents approve and they come in your size, your glasses can look however you want.
In fact, we recommend that your parents let you pick your new frames. This gives you a sense of pride and ownership in your new glasses because you got to choose them yourself. Plus, you’re more likely to wear them if you like them!
There are tons of colors, shapes and styles of kids' glasses to choose from. You can stay comfy with frames made of soft, bendable material and keep your eyes safe with durable lenses through all your adventures.
SEE RELATED: 16 best kids' books about wearing glasses
Isn’t wearing glasses nerdy?
No way! In the past, TV and movies tried to make people think that wearing glasses was nerdy. The truth is that there are a lot of kids who wear glasses. According to the CDC, over 25% of kids between ages 2 and 17 wear glasses or contact lenses. That’s one in every four kids!
Nowadays, glasses are seen as a way to express yourself, to show off your personality and your sense of style. Many famous characters — like Mirabel from Encanto, Peter Parker from Spiderman, Arthur Read from Arthur, and even Truffles the cat — proudly wear their glasses.
So, no, wearing glasses is not nerdy. They make it possible for you to see clearly, which is pretty cool.
How is my eyesight different from other kids’?
Someone with myopia has eyeballs that are a little longer (front to back) than those that see clearly.
Kids who don’t need glasses have eyeballs that aren’t as long. For them, light enters the eye and comes to a focus at the back of the eye on a part called the retina. This perfect focus allows them to see clearly at all distances.
Because myopic eyeballs like yours are longer, incoming light doesn’t quite reach your retinas. This makes things look blurry from far away. Wearing glasses helps light reach the back of your eyes so you can see clearly at a distance.
What is the cloth inside my glasses case for?
The cloth inside of your glasses case is for cleaning your glasses when they get dirty, or drying them if they get wet.
Lenses (the clear parts of your glasses that you see through) can get dust, dirt, raindrops and smudges on them. Having marks on your lenses can be distracting and make it hard for you to see.
If your glasses start to look spotty, pull the cloth out of your case and use it to gently rub the front and back of your lenses clean.
To keep them clean, try not to touch the lenses when you hold your glasses or adjust them to feel more comfortable.
Do I have to wear my glasses all the time?
When it comes to wearing glasses, everyone is different. Some people only need to wear them sometimes, like when they’re at school or work. Others have to wear glasses all the time so they can see all the objects around them clearly.
Your eye doctor will be able to tell you whether you need to wear your glasses always, or only at certain times.
Should I wear my glasses when I play sports?
Many kids with myopia prefer to wear their glasses during games and practice because they make it easier to see a ball or other flying object coming from farther away. Your glasses can help you play better — and feel safer and more confident — because you can see the action around you more clearly.
If playing sports is your thing, look into sports glasses. They're designed to be lightweight and durable to help protect your eyes during athletic activities. Your eye doctor can tell you all the best times to wear your glasses and if sport glasses could be a good fit for you.
Should I shower in my glasses?
No, you don’t need to wear your glasses in the shower. If you keep your glasses on when you shower, bathe or swim, your lenses will fog up or get wet and make it difficult for you to see. It’s better to keep your glasses in a safe, dry place so you can find them easily when you’re done.
Even without your glasses, you should still be able to see your soap and shampoo bottles in the shower. If you can’t, let one of your parents know so they can talk to your eye doctor about your options.
Will I have to wear glasses forever?
You won’t have to wear glasses forever if you don't want to. As you get older, you’ll have more options to correct your vision, like contact lenses.
Once you become an adult, you may be eligible for LASIK surgery. LASIK is a procedure that can correct your vision and make it so you won’t need to wear glasses or contact lenses all the time.
However, it’s possible that you may still need glasses sometimes after having LASIK. It’s also possible that you’ll need to have LASIK more than once, like famous golfer Tiger Woods.
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Page published on Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Medically reviewed on Thursday, January 20, 2022