During my son's last pediatrician visit, we found that he has a 20/40 vision, and that he may need glasses (which was enough for him to voluntarily reduce his TV time). Our pediatrician insisted that it is common for kids of that age, and that it might go away, and that there is no need for glasses right now; however, I am skeptical about her diagnosis/prognosis.

I was wondering if any other parents have faced this, and their pediatricians have suggested the same.

EDIT: It has been four years since this question. My son now wears glasses full-time, as his vision has deteriorated. Apparently during puberty the vision gets worse. Also, there are quite a few studies that link myopia to lack of exposure to bright sunlight.

  • 2
    Not that reducing TV isn't good for other reasons, but it does not cause vision problems.
    – Kevin
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 13:44
  • @Kevin, I agree. However, there were some good things that came out of that. He increased his outdoor activities, which is an overall plus :) That said here is an interesting paper: journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/…
    – CMR
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 20:02

2 Answers 2


According to this site, your child's eyes can/will change throughout their growth stages.

Fact: The eye is NOT full size at birth but continues to grow with your child. This growth partially accounts for refractive (glasses) changes that occur during childhood.

Similarly, glasses are not inherently detrimental to their ocular development:

Fact: Refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or astigmatism) change as kids get older. Many variables come into play, but most of this change is likely due to genetics and continues despite wearing glasses earlier or later or more or less. Wearing glasses does not make the eyes get worse.

For what it's worth, 20/40 was my vision at that same age. But, and this is worth noting, I had/have astigmatism, and at the time I still had a lazy eye. (The lazy eye was surgically corrected right before I turned thirteen.) I have worn glasses since I was five, but my vision without my glasses is fuzzy but not Velma Dinkley bad. My brother, on the other hand, has had his vision deteriorate over time, but it seems to have stabilized now. Mine actually improved in my later teen years, after my surgery.

One of my parents wears glasses, the other needs reading glasses. My paternal grandmother had glaucoma, and my maternal family is susceptible to diabetes. All of these are factors in vision and vision development.


I think 20/40 is about what I when I was a kid (maybe slightly worse), and my first year I ended up in the back of the class, and couldn't see what my teacher wrote on the blackboard. Neither did I have any idea that the moon kinda looked like a face.

The pediatricians we had to said "It's normal, he doesn't need glasses, he might grow out of it." Well, that was utter BS. Go to an optician, and ask his opinion.

If you get glasses and your son doesn't actually need them, then he'll probably simply end up not using them very much.

  • Just as I suspected... Thanks for the answer.
    – CMR
    Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 5:09
  • You make a very good point that it doesn't really matter if he's going to grow out of it or not, if it's causing him difficulty now. Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 19:05

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