eyeglasses at age three (the story behind her specs)

eyeglasses at age three (the story behind her specs) 1We noticed her eyes going cross-eyed when she was 2 1/2. It only happened when she was excited...she'd get a new balloon, talk about her cousin Ava, hear that we were going to have noodles for dinner - and her eyes would cross inward.

We weren't particularly worried, but we took her to our optometrist just after her third birthday as a precaution. She sat through the appointment with flawless behavior, surprising the doctor by knowing the entire alphabet and sitting quite still even when the doctor leaned over to put the dilation drops in. Everything looked great. The doctor explained that she would probably outgrow it, but to keep watching it just in case.

This past year was the same. Still crossing - only when excited. But we sensed that she couldn't see things as well as we could. "Do you see that airplane?" we'd say. "Can you read the book cover?" we'd ask.

Last week, we took her back for another appointment and this time...the doctor recommended glasses.

eyeglasses at age three (the story behind her specs) 2Here's what we learned: Almost all children are farsighted ("hyperopia" is the technical term). As children grow, they tend to "outgrow" their farsightedness. Sometimes, however, the eyes needs a little extra "help." In our daughter's case, her eye muscles are strong and her eyes are healthy, but she is farsighted with a bit of astigmatism. By having our daughter wear glasses now, it is quite possible that her vision will completely correct itself by the time she enters school.

In a nutshell, the glasses are corrective and will likely be temporary.

eyeglasses at age three (the story behind her specs) 3It hasn't yet been a week, but - so far - she doesn't seem to mind them too much. She was excited to pick out her own pair ("just like mom!") and she was insistent that they be pink. She loves the matching case and the soft cloth that she uses to carefully clean the glasses every day (so responsible).

That is the story behind her spectacles. She's just shy of 4 and she looks even older to me now that she is wearing them. Beautiful. Smart. Sensible. Sweet. I can't get over how lucky I am to be her mom.

Have you taken your child(ren) to the eye doctor? Do any of your children wear glasses?

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42 comments on “eyeglasses at age three (the story behind her specs)”

  1. Stephanie, can you tell me the brand and model of those glasses? I have to pick out glasses for my 2-year-old soon and those are very cute. Thanks!

  2. She looks so sweet in her glasses! :)

    We had a somewhat similar issue when Abby was 4, although it was one eye that crossed inward. It started suddenly (although my husband said he used to see it 'jump' before then sometimes) and was almost constant until she got her glasses a few weeks later. She's 9 now and had surgery on that eye last summer (2009) to correct the alignment of her eye, which helped a lot. At her last appointment, the ophthalmologist was very pleased with her alignment and her vision and she doesn't have to go back again for a whole year. After 5 years of every-3-month appointments, that's a huge deal. She still wears glasses and at this point, it's possible (likely?) that she will continue to have to wear them. But she's used to them now and does really well. For a child who loses everything and does not take care of her things very well, her glasses have (so far, anyway) never been lost or broken. Bent and/or scratched, yes. We're visiting the optical department at Walmart often to get them re-adjusted. But that's ok - it's all worth it for sure. :)

    1. We got our daughter the Flexon style of glasses. Have you tried them? They are great because they are much less likely to bend/break.

      We also have a 2-year warranty that allows for us to get new frames/lenses at anytime. It covers everything *except* if she loses them. Needless to say, we'll be watching them very closely. ;)

  3. She looks ADORABLE! And so smart! (Why do glasses make people look so smart anyway?) I got glasses when I was in third grade and many years after the fact my mom told me that she cried about it. I'm not really sure her reasons but I think it's funny that I was so excited to get to have glasses yet my mom was so upset about it.

  4. When our daughter was about 1 we noticed that every now and then her eyes would cross (mainly when we took pictures) A few years ago in Kindergarten, they did the "quick" evaluation test at school and said that we should get her eyes checked out. Last year in first grade the eye doc finally suggested glasses for when she reads and does her homework. She LOVED picking out her glasses and looks so super cute in them:) I started wearing glasses in first grade too, but my husband's eyes are incredible.

  5. I took my oldest in to the optometrist toward the end of 4th grade when his grades took a sudden nosedive. Since's so smart (not just Mom talking) and always had near-perfect grades, I knew something was up. Sure enough, he'd gone near-sighted and couldn't see the board anymore.

    A few years later, my next one (daughter) refused to read. She COULD, but she hated it. And anytime I insisted she read for school or she focused on homework, she'd end up with a massive headache starting at her forehead. I guessed that maybe eye strain was giving her headaches--and was right. She had significant astigmatism, so reading was literally painful. The first day I caught her with her new glasses, curled up with a book, I nearly cried. She used her glasses just for reading and other eye-strain originally, but now she's near-sighted like her brother (about 4 years later).

    With my son in high school now, we're on the verge of discussing contact lenses. Ack!

  6. She's adorable in those glasses!

    Have you heard about the InfantSee program? Nationwide program that offers free eye exams to all infants 0-6 mos. Heard about it from a local opthomologist working mom friend. I've let my local mom friends know about it in my area...a great preventative program!

  7. She looks adorable (as usual). What a cute case too :) I haven't taken our girlies to the eye MD yet but want to before the little one turns one. There was a program I heard about on the news for free exams for <1 y/olds- Infantsee or something like that. Gotta check in to it- especially since every so often when the big girl is tired we think one of her eyes may drift out...My hubby says a childhood "lazy eye" runs in his family. We're pretty sure they will both wind up in glasses bc we are both so blind- but we hope for a "cancel out" as I'm nearsighted and he is far- uh-oh probably means bifocals by 3, right?
    Thanks for the MD recommendation and love the pics.
    Found the link- http://www.infantsee.org/

  8. She looks so precious in her glasses!!! :)

    None of my children wear glasses yet, but if they inherited my eyes, I'm sure they will soon! :P

  9. Good for you for being on top of it! My son has had glasses since he was 5 (and should have gotten them sooner, had I known!) It's great that we have such abled doctors to discover eye issues at such early ages...my heart goes out to those who don't have such access to great medical care.

    She looks marvelous in her glasses!

    1. I thought the same thing when we paid for her exam and glasses. The whole thing was expensive and I couldn't help but think of all the people around the world who need glasses, but can't afford them. Breaks my heart.

      I did just discover Optometry Giving Sight, a fundraising initiative that seeks to improve the quality of life for people who are needlessly blind or vision impaired because they do not have access to glasses: http://www.givingsight.org/. Pretty cool.

  10. She is so, so cute in her glasses! How interesting about kids often being farsighted, and usually outgrowing it - great info.

  11. I've had glasses on and off since I was quite small. At one point one eye was farsighted and the other was very nearsighted. The differential was quite something!

    Elizabeth will go visit the opthamologist when she turns the appropriate age (three I think?). I expect at some point she'll end up with glasses given family history, but hopefully not until she's a teenager!

  12. She looks absolutely adorable with her new glasses, Stephanie! And kudos to you for being so on top of things with the eye exams. Glad it all worked out so well!

  13. They are so cute, and you are right, she looks so big!

    So glad you guys were able to figure this out. It makes my heart hurt to think of her struggling to see the cover of the books she loves.

    She's so blessed to have you guys as parents!

  14. Cassidy has been wearing glasses since she was two. I was surprised at how easily she adjusted to them. The good news? Her prescription gets lighter and lighter (is that the word?) every year. The bad news? Many, many pairs of glasses have a way of wreaking serious havoc on our budget!

    1. Her glasses have a 2-year warranty that protects against scratches, broken frames/lenses, etc. The only thing that isn't covered is if she loses them so we're going to do our best to be super careful about that. Glasses certainly aren't cheap!

  15. Our son was four when he received his first pair of glasses. He has done pretty well with wearing them, as long as we make sure he gets them on his face first thing in the morning! This past summer, at his one year anniversary appointment, the doctor said his eyes were getting better, so he may also outgrow his need for the glasses soon. He looks so cute, though...like a little old man. I'll miss the glasses if they go!

  16. OH she looks adorable in those glasses! I've worn corrective lenses since I was 7. I only wish it were temporary :)

  17. My husband has such bad eyes he can't see anything without his glasses (so when his glasses got broken at work and that was his "spare" pair he was in a pickle!)...so we have been watching our boys very carefully. I don't wear glasses but maybe for reading or while on the computer (just the ones you pick up at Fred Meyers or Wal-Mart) Our oldest started wearing glasses at nine. Probably could have used them at 8 but he wasn't sure what he was exeriencing until I asked some "hard" questions about what he could see etc. We have an appointment for our 7 year old who has never seemed to see things properly (but can read words easily and doesn't seem to have a problem at school) but we aren't sure if it is because he is a rather laid back *lazy, ahem* personality...lol. We'll see if he needs them. If he does then we will take in our 4 year old. I anticipate all the boys will need them eventually. I wouldn't count on your outgrowing the glasses soon though...I have only known one person in my life that that happened to, and she wore glasses until she was 20 then was told she didn't need them anymore on her 21st birthday!


  18. She is so cute with them! And I'm glad they're only temporary :)

    I have taken both my boys to get their eyes checked, and they seem to be fine!

  19. Her glasses look great on her! I love kids in glasses....they could get away with anything with me. My cousin's eyes started going cross-eyed when she was 1 and she got corrective lenses. She outgrew it before kindergarten and is now 25 with perfect vision. I don't need glasses but I have always wanted them so I can look smarter than I actually am!

    1. Thank you for sharing that positive + encouraging story. Have I mentioned that I am so very happy to have you as a reader? I am.

  20. she is so dang cute! my eyes started to go bad in high school...probably the worst time to start wearing glasses! since then i've had corrective surgery, but know I miss wearing glasses...i like how they look now!

  21. She looks beautiful!
    I've never taken my kids to the eye doc, but I wouldn't be surprised if they need glasses sooner rather that later. I started wearing them in 3rd grade.
    Then again, hubs has 20/20... so who knows...

    1. We're the same way. Tim has better-than-perfect vision. I've worn glasses since high school, but my eye doctor told me that I probably wouldn't be wearing them at all if my vision had been corrected as a child.

  22. Growing up my three siblings and I all had glasses and then eventually contacts starting anywhere from 2nd grade through jr. high. My mother and father also wear contacts.

    My son doesn't have glasses (only 6 weeks old) yet? My husband has perfect vision and I'm hoping my son inherited his eyes from him.

    Your daughter looks beautiful in her glasses :)

  23. She's adorable in those! My oldest daughter had to get glasses last year before starting kindergarten. She was so excited. About a week later, the excitement was gone. She's the only one in her class that has glasses. Now it's a fight to make sure she has them on before leaving in the morning.

  24. I have taken both my 5 year old and 3 year old to the eye doctor. My 5 year old has better than perfect vision (I wish I did, I've been wearing glasses since I was 3). My 3 year old, like your daughter goes cross eyes, mainly when excited. Our optometrist said she'd likely outgrow it, but to come back closer to when she is 4 or if we feel it is getting worse. So my little Lanie may need corrective (hopefully temporary) glasses also.
    I do have to admit she looks simply beautiful wearing her glasses, and they do add some age (maybe wisdom) to her face.

  25. Oh, I think little kids with glasses are ADORABLE. I don't even have to know the child and they will automatically melt my heart and I'm putty in their hands. She has very good taste, her frames are lovely!

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