If you're the parent of a strong-willed preschooler, you may sometimes long for the infant years when each request to your child wasn't seemingly met with a temper tantrum or smug defiance. For parents of children who have vision problems, the mere thought of cajoling (or forcing) your child to wear his or her glasses on a daily basis may be exhausting -- especially if these glasses are bifocals that are necessary for the healthy development of your child's eyes and vision. What can you do to encourage your child to wear his or her bifocals? Read on to learn more about how bifocal wear can positively impact a child's future vision, as well as some tips and tricks you can use to encourage regular wear.
When might your preschooler need bifocals rather than single lenses?
Most vision problems fall into one of three categories -- myopia (nearsightedness), farsightedness, and astigmatism (a misshapen cornea). These issues can usually be compensated through the use of corrective lenses. However, children who have had cataract removal, or who have more unique vision problems that require correction to view objects both close and far away, may require bifocals in order to see clearly. In some cases, the vision problems that necessitated the use of bifocals may resolve themselves after a few months (or years) of wearing corrective lenses, while in other cases, your child may need bifocals or bifocal contact lenses for the rest of his or her life.
What methods can you use to encourage your preschooler to wear his or her glasses regularly?
Young children who are still finding their place in a peer group can be especially sensitive to any behavior or accessory that may mark them as "different" -- which makes encouraging regular glasses wearing a tough prospect for any parent. While around 10 percent of preschoolers have some type of vision problem, not all wear glasses, and your child may be reluctant to become the first person in his or her class to need corrective lenses. However, regularly wearing his or her glasses is vitally important to protect and preserve your child's present and future vision. If left untreated, many of the childhood vision problems that require bifocal lenses will worsen and be much harder to successfully manage in adulthood.
Fortunately, most children who are able to get into the habit of regularly wearing their glasses quickly begin to enjoy their clear new vision. Once your child has reached this point, encouraging regular wear should be much easier -- especially if he or she spends much time in a classroom setting where far vision is often necessary in order to read the blackboard or see what classmates are doing.
You may want to engage your child in the process of selecting glasses frames, allowing him or her to choose a favorite color or even cartoon character to jazz up otherwise plain frames. If your child has demonstrated some resistance to his or her new glasses, you might also want to point out some role models who wear glasses -- from family members to teachers, athletes, or older friends. Seeing these individuals thrive with glasses can give your child the confidence he or she needs to go forth with pride.
If none of these methods seem to be gaining much traction with your child, you may instead want to pursue a rewards-based system of encouragement -- giving your child a special treat or event (like going to a movie) if he or she can remember to wear glasses each day for a week. This method can provide positive reinforcement without punishing. For more information, consider websites like www.allabouteyes.com.
Since I was a teenager, I've worn eyeglasses. The idea of getting contacts didn't seem all that important. It was only during my last eye exam with a new optometrist that I decided to revisit the possibility. On the advice of my optometrist, I decided to try the disposable lenses. To my surprise, they worked great. Even my field of vision was broader. One of my favorite things is that I never have to hunt for a handkerchief or a tissue to wipe away dust from the glasses anymore. Being able to purchase sunglasses off the rack is pretty great too. If you just got the word that corrective lenses is in your future, let's talk. I'll tell you why choosing contact lenses over glasses makes sense.