what size glasses?

A reader, Amber, posted a question yesterday about what size glasses she should get for her son. I said I’d post it here and see what you all think. So I’m counting on everyone to have an opinion (we all know what they say about opinions, right?) and to share it. Here’s the question:

My 12 month old has just been prescribed glasses. Though you can’t tell by looking at him he has a lazy eye, Amblyopia. I have been to two different places to try on glasses for him, but just can’t decide. Our doctor says that his percription will probably change again when he comes back in 6 months. So, I don’t know if I should just get the ones that fit him the best now or if I should try to by a little bigger so that we can simply change the lenses in December. What do you suggest?

It’s kind of funny that this question came up, since I’ve been thinking a lot about replacing Zoe’s frames, what with her prescription changing, and the last time we took her in for an adjustment, the woman at the glasses shop said she thought Zoe’s glasses were getting too small for her face. But Saturday when we took Zoe in, the guy at the glasses shop said the frames looked like they still fit. And since her lenses are still under warranty for doctor changes, we’ll only pay half of the replacement costs for the lenses, as long as we don’t change the frames. Well that was an easy enough decision. I guess it all depends on who you ask.

Here’s the answer that I sent to Amber, but again, I hope you all will chime in with your thoughts and experiences:

Here are some things to think about, though I’m kind of muddling my way through this myself. The place where we got Zoe’s eyeglasses recommended not getting glasses with the earpieces that curve all the way around the ear, rather get ones that look like adult glasses, where the ear piece just curves down but doesn’t make a full C shape (hope that makes sense). They said that the glasses with the C curve tend to get outgrown more quickly. I know that some places specifically say not to get frames that are too big, as then they won’t be comfortable and your son won’t be as likely to wear them, and there’s probably some truth to that. But I think you could probably find frames that are a little big that would still fit now.

Another thing to think about is what the warranty offered on the frames and lenses is. Zoe’s lenses are covered such that if a prescription change happens in the first month, the lenses are replaced for free, and if the prescription change happens in 9 months, the lenses are replaced for half price, BUT you must keep the same frames. So for us it was definitely worth it to get frames that would last, since her prescription has change (both within the one month time, and just now at 6 months). That warranty was standard at the shop, and not an additional charge. However, it’s also worth considering how hard your son might be on the frames, and whether those are covered if he breaks them. For us, the frames aren’t covered at all, if they break, we have to buy new ones. So, if the glasses places don’t offer a warranty like that, and you find inexpensive frames that you like that fit your son, it may worth just going with those, just in case the frames are broken.

Ultimately, I think if I were in your place, I’d get frames a little big and hope they don’t break, but if you know your son is the type to be really rough with things like glasses (and let’s face it, he’s 1 and why would he know any better?), maybe just get the ones that fit him now.

For reference, here is a picture of Zoe in her glasses on Jan 6, and again Jun 8, so you can see how she’s grown into the frames (they look really tiny in the Jun 8 picture, but they really don’t look that small in person):

Zoe in glasses, Jan. 6

Zoe in glasses, Jan. 6

Zoe in glasses, Jun 8

Zoe in glasses, Jun 8

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8 responses to “what size glasses?

  1. I would go for the glasses that are a little bit bigger on the face. That said, it really is a matter of opinion and how you think the glasses look on your child.

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  2. I agree! Go with the bigger frames and maybe do a strap to keep them on better. Especially with boys!

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  3. FYI, buying frames in order to grow into them isn’t a good idea. You can see how Zoe’s eyes have moved from being in one place in the frame to another in the two pictures posted here. Particularly with a very young child, the rapid growth will change the distance between the pupils and the distance between her pupil and the bottom of the lens (the PD and OC, respectively) which means that the “sweet spot” on the lenses is no longer right in front of her eyes as it should be.

    As awful as it can be to the wallet, it’s best to get a frame that fits properly and then replace it when it’s outgrown. Especially with kids who have serious vision problems that require glasses to prevent worsening or try for normal vision, you really want those lenses to be optimal.

    Btw, cable temples can be retrofitted by your optician with almost any wire frame. It’s really easy.

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  4. Thanks Cassandra. When we had the lenses replaced for an updated prescription, they did re-measure the distance between her pupils, and the optician said he thought her frames were still fine in terms of size. So is that something they can adjust when ordering the lenses? I guess I just assumed that was the case. That said, we are planning on getting new frames for her, probably on Friday after her next ophthalmologist exam.

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  5. Yes, the measurements can be changed when reordering lenses. You can easily see that her OC has changed when looking at those two pictures. Her PD will change more slowly and can remain stable for the life of her glasses, but look at the distance between her pupil and the bottom of the frame. In the first pic, it’s significantly larger than in the second. That means that the focus on her lenses are no longer right over her pupil, and she’s not getting the most benefit from them anymore.

    Her frame fits better now than when she first wore it. I would not have have put her in that one the first time, as it just did not fit well. Look at how her eyes are right at the top, almost out of the frame, and there’s all that unused lens down on her cheeks. Ideally her eye should be centered in the frame, or at least not toward any extreme edge.

    It’s hard to fit babies, and so many dispensaries do not have much of a selection in infant and toddler sizes, so maybe that was the best choice available at the time. It should be easier to get well fitting frames from now on as she grows into more standard sizes.

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  6. Cassandra, thank you again for all this information, it’s fantastic and really appreciated. It sounds like you must be an optician or optometrist who works with a lot of kids, is that the case? If so, I’d really be interested in talking to you more about possibly writing a guest post or doing an interview for this blog. I sent you an email, but it was returned, if you see this, will you email me (ann @ shinypebble . com)?

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  7. Pingback: Bookmarks about Eyes·

  8. I find myself nitpicking on issues like this and find it hard to tell if Stella’s glasses are fitted properly… in the second photo on June 8, Zoe has clearly grown into her glasses, but she also has a completely different facial expression. She is smiling and her cheeks might very well push up her glasses slightly, no?

    Also, Zoe just looks so great in all her glasses!

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