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Help your Child with First Spectacles

If it takes five minutes to examine and prescribe glasses to a child, it takes me half an hour to counsel and console the mother.

It comes as a rude shock to mothers. Many of them start crying. It hurts me to see the trauma they feel, knowing that it is not justified.

A child who can’t see clearly and can do so with glasses is the happiest child and feels on top of world. The world changes for him.

First thing to understand is that your child’s eyes are structurally and functionally normal. The eyes are not ‘weak’. It is just that there has been disparity in growth of the size of eye and the optical power of eye. If eye grows bigger by one mm than required the child gets a power of - 3.00D. The spectacles are required to compensate for this optical power. There is no weakness of any part of eye or muscles.

As parents you need to help the child to accept glasses. Your crying, gestures and comments create complex in child. A child, who was unbiased so far, is made to feel that the spectacles are not good and are a curse. It is the parents, family and friends that inculcate the complex in child. One practical approach is not to discuss this topic in front of child, and discourage friends and relatives to do it.

Peers and school do play some role. You should meet the teacher at school and explain the kind of support child needs. Teacher should ensure that child wears glasses in school so that his learning experience is not handicapped.

Discuss different questions or comments that he is likely to encounter and tutor appropriate answers.

Help the child develop good habits for maintaining spectacles. Do not scold him if he is not wearing glasses. With love and affection just put the glasses back. Average life of glasses may be three to four months. If the glasses break or are lost do not scold the child. At first prescription of glasses your child needs you more than the glasses.

-Dr. SPS Grewal

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