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My son is two years old. Before we went to an ophthalmologist just for a general check up we did not observe any symptoms of myopia. But doctor advised him to wear glasses all the time. This was very shocking to us because he is able to see objects very far away in the night as well, is able to point at stars even which are very dim and even I took a while to spot one. I am very confused how should I handle this situation.

Please advise.

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I've had the same experience with my son recently. I feel that he has the eyes of an eagle; he can spot an airplane high in the sky, or a small insect in the air, or any little detail at home across the room -- his eyesight seems more than perfect.

But just like in your case, a check-up revealed the need to wear glasses. We got him glasses. He doesn't wear them. He seems fine all the same. But there is some science behind this that makes sense. The essence is that even good eyes can have small problems that are easily corrected early on, but harder to fix in later years.

Science:

The eyes can have defects (if I remember right, it's something with incorrect curvature of the lens) but the eyes' muscles can adjust for this, simply by applying a little more force to the lens to bend it right. This is why the eyesight seems perfect, but what we parents don't see is that the "perfect" is only achieved by muscular effort. Over time, the eyes can't continue this effort, and then the eyesight is reduced.

By correcting this situation with glasses, the eye is conditioned to see properly without muscular effort. The glasses are often as low as 0.5 or 0.25 diopter.

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I agree with you.But unfortunately the glass number given to my son is -5 for both eyes and the number being so high makes us think how is it possible for him to see without glasses. –  V.B Jul 9 '13 at 9:00
    
Viewers please share your experiences. –  V.B Jul 9 '13 at 9:02
    
@V.B -5 seems very high, but... I have -10 on both eyes, and started glasses when I was 8/9, they were about -2. I could not read very far away, it was clear I was nearsighted (and should have had glasses earlier). It was hard to know I was nearsighted until I started reading - before that you can see most thing well enough, you don't know you what you are missing, it is all just a bit fuzzy. –  Ida yesterday
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My daughter is 3 and has fairly severe eye problems. We visit ophthalmologists very frequently and we've seen many more than one for her condition.

Did you go see an ophthalmologist or an optometrist? While the training between ophthalmologists and optometrists are very similar, ophthalmologists are also trained to perform surgery and treat more complex diseases and injuries of the eye. The first stop for most people is an optometrist rather than an ophthalmologist which is why I ask. My daughter sees a pediatric ophthalmologist who is further trained to work with and treat children.

If you question the doctor's diagnosis, GET A SECOND OPINION with another doctor. If your son legitimately needs glasses, and his prescription is really a -5 then he clearly needs glasses and he needs to be wearing them regularly. Likewise, wearing glasses when you don't need them isn't really a good idea, either. It could be that the doctor you saw was mistaken or wasn't accustomed to working with children. Two year olds are extremely difficult to assess and diagnose because they're squirmy, they don't like having the light shone in their eyes, and they can't always give you a straight answer. Find one who is accustomed to working with young children. I marvel at my daughter's doctor who, besides using standard techniques to observe her eyes, also reads her body language to help him assess her vision. Minute little flinches she makes that mean nothing to me speak volumes to him.

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thanks for your inputs.Well We went to ophthalmologist not 1 but to 3 different doctors and all had the same to say about my son.So we are trying to make him feel comfortable with glasses. –  V.B Jul 10 '13 at 5:04
    
Yeah, if 3 different doctors said the same thing then he probably needs the glasses. Fighting the battle of the glasses-wearing is tough (truthfully, my daughter wears contacts, but she LOVES her glasses when she needs to wear them), but in the long run you know it's what's best for his vision. Failing to wear them now will probably mean even more compromised vision when he's older. –  Meg Coates Jul 10 '13 at 19:37
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Children's eyes are more flexible, have better contrast, and they literally take in more light. There are some startling example photos of that in this article. Myopia doesn't mean you can't see things far away, just that they're out of focus. Being able to notice something high contrast like a star or a person is not surprising.

My daughter got glasses when she was an infant due to side effects of her retinopathy of prematurity. Our opthamologist stressed to us at the time that while it may look like she does fine without glasses, if she didn't wear them regularly during that formative period, she could effectively go blind, and it wouldn't be correctable later.

Granted, my daughter was much younger and had a more serious opthamological condition. However, the only downside to wearing glasses is you have to keep putting them back on over and over for the first month or so. After that, there are only upsides, so why wouldn't you want that for your child? The doctor isn't guessing that your child needs glasses. He can get the prescription nearly perfect without asking the child anything. All that better/worse flipping of lenses they do is only for fine tuning.

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My child is the same way. She is 3 years old and was prescribed a -2.5 diopter pair of glasses for a -4.0 diopter evaluation. I have not been able to tell of any difference in her vision either. In fact, she used to watch the television from really close but since she got the glasses we don't let her watch as much but also enforce a certain distance; but when now she watches from that distance without the glasses too without any obvious discomfort. I do agree with Torben that they can be hard to diagnose in children just from behavior so I don't know why this is.

On the science though, from what I've gathered so far, in toddlers the muscles controlling the focusing of the eyes become accustomed to focusing close due to near work (or TV / iPads etc) and lack of exposure (outdoor play, sunlight). It is then not possible for this to be fixed unfortunately. In my case, enough of the preconditions were present to convince me that it was our environment that caused her issues.

However, there does not seem to be enough research around this topic. There have been experiments but not enough and not conclusive on how effective treatments are. Some people believe that the glasses in fact have the effect of 'locking' the prescription in place since this is now your eyes' focal point, the muscles have no reason to re-adjust. Apparently, in Asian communities there is a tendency to prescribe slightly less than the measured value for the glasses in order to avoid progression of myopia since the muscles do not relax at the new focal point position. Also, some people think using positive diopter lenses for near work might have the opposite effect. Again, unfortunately, there is not enough research on any of these for anything conclusive.

Finally, I know it's year on from when you asked the question. How is your little one doing now ?

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