eye doctor visits

Another question from a reader – how often does your child go in for eye appointments?  I’m well aware that the answers will vary wildly based on how long your child has worn glasses, and what their specific eye problems include.  Still, I think it would be interesting to hear what the range is – and helpful for people trying to figure out how much to budget for eye appointments.

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21 responses to “eye doctor visits

  1. When Reid first got his glasses, we went in once a month for like three months just to make sure that the prescription was right. Our optometrist told me that unless he has problems we needed to get his eyes checked once a year to keep up with changing prescriptions. His one year appointment is coming up next month.

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  2. Every 4 months like clockwork. This excludes visits to the optometrist for the unexpected break…which in fact will be tomorrow…but lately has been few and far between.

    I agree..and too think it will vary greatly depending upon condition.

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  3. It was supposed to be every 3 months, but any time she had a prescription change, the doctor would want to see her back 2 weeks after getting her new glasses. And then she had the surgery, which required a lot of follow-up appointments. But at her last appointment, the doctor said that as long as she wasn’t crossing her eyes, we could go 6 months until the next appointment. In comparison, it feels like forever.

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  4. We have been going to the doctor every 2 or so months to check on how she is doing with a new prescription or if there is any change with her strabismus or prescription. Her eyes are still changing so we seem to be going quite often.

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  5. From ages 1-2 while she was just patching we went in every 3 months. After glasses and eye drops it has been every 2-3 weeks for about 6 visits. Since she is doing ok with the Atrophine drops and her eyesight is still improving each visit, I think we are going to be on an every 4 week schedule.

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  6. It seems we’ve got it fairly easy. Sam just had the one visit when we found out he needed glasses and the doctor said he just needed to come back in a year. That appointment is coming up next month. Nearsightedness seems fairly easy to deal with in comparison to everyone else.

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  7. We went initially and then had a three month follow up, which we just attended. He did change her perscription but said we dont have to see him now for six months. Seems like a very long time.

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  8. Hi there – I just recently stumbled upon this blog and wish I’d known about it years ago! Two of my four children wear glasses.

    Alex is 8 and has been wearing his for amblyoplia & strabismus since he was 3.5. Up until this month, he has been either patching or using atropine drops (5 long years!), and he had surgery to move the muscles and correct the turn in his eye last April. He has been seen at the eye clinic at the Children’s hospital every four weeks during that time. (His vision, with correction, has gone from 20/600 to 20/40 in that time!)

    Because we knew what to look for, we found out that our daughter Sarah (now four years old) needed glasses for farsightedness when she was five months old. She started wearing glasses when she was seven months old and started crawling. She is seen by an orthoptist every 10 weeks and an opthamologist once/year or more if needed. She has had only one stint of patching when she was three which lasted about 10 weeks. She wears her glasses constantly – even in the tub & to sleep. If we try to take them off her at night, she’ll say in her sleep, “but I can’t see my dreams…”

    Our youngest daughter (two) was seen at six months, and has her next appointment scheduled for this March to see if any eye problems have developed. So far so good.

    Our oldest son, now ten, has “better than perfect” vision and is seen once/year. He feels ripped off that he doesn’t get to wear glasses, so his grandparents bought him a pair of plain glass glasses for his birthday that he wears when he is reading or doing his homework…

    I look forward to reading more and sharing any of our experiences if it can help anyone else along the way!

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  9. Hi Bedandbreakfast! I’m glad you found us – this site isn’t quite a year old, so there’s no way you could have known about it years ago :). I hope you do share your experiences since you’ve definitely been there with 2 kids. I love that your daughter wears her glasses at night to see in her dreams.

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  10. Brady goes to the Ped Ophth every 3 months, in June it will be 1 year since surgery- and so far so good! Every time we go I hold my breath that he is going to recommend another surgery (even though his eyes look great!), and so far every time it’s been quick, easy, and painless- he looks at the eyes, and says “lookin good” see ya in 3 months.

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  11. Pingback: just starting out « little four eyes·

  12. Hello, I was so glad to find this great website! I need advice. We just took our 3 year old son to a Pediatric Ophthalmologist and was told he was a +250 in one eye and a +400 in the other eye. My husband and I do not wear glasses and felt we needed another opinion, so we took our son for a second opinion. The 2nd Pediatric Ophthalmologist told us he was a +600 in both eyes. I don’t understand glasses or the whole process behind it. We are even more confused now than ever. Do I need to take our son and have his eyes dilated again for a 3rd opinion-how is it possible that the numbers are so very different? I even called back the first Pediatric Ophthalmologist (who is also a professor at our local University) to try and understand how this was possible-I explained that I am only trying to get the best possible treatment for my son as early as possible. Neither doc seemed to be sympathetic, they were mostly defensive. Who do we trust?

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  13. Wow, that is a hard. I personally would get a third opinion even if it means you need to drive to another city. My thought is our babies only have 2 eyes and that we need to make sure they are getting the best care possible. I would have NO idea which doctor was right, maybe a third will be a better match for you and your family or will help shed light on the number discrepancy.

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  14. I think the question of how to deal with two conflicting opinions is one of the most difficult. I know that some of the people here have sought 3rd and even 4th opinions, and if you’re not getting sympathy from the ophthalmologists, then that might be something to look at – though depending on where you live, finding someone else can be hard.

    On the different prescriptions, with farsighted children, some eye doctors choose to not correct the full amount – just the amount needed to correct any eye turning, and some doctors find that kids are more likely to accept glasses for farsightedness if the correction is not the full correction, especially at first. So you may be running to into differences of treatment philosophies rather than different diagnoses. Not that that makes the decision any easier.

    I really think that if you aren’t feeling comfortable with either doctor and you have the option, then seeking a 3rd opinion may be a good plan. Is there anyone that you know in your area that could give you a referral?

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    • Thank you for your responses, it is so nice to talk to other moms who have similar situations and are more experienced with young children/babies with glasses. I agree with both of you that a third opinion would be a good idea-except that doc may come back and give me a completely different number and then it would drive me nuts. Ann Z, when I called back the first doc, he did mention that it was a difference of treatment philosophy-which he assumed was the cause for such a huge difference in the numbers, but he also said that the second doc (+600 in both eyes) was flat out wrong. As I have been calling around talking to different hospitals and doc offices in my area, I am finding that the first doctor is very well known and respected, not that that makes me immediately want to gravitate towards him, but it makes me feel a little better that he knows his field of study. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone that has toddlers with glasses, the only referral was from my pediatrician’s office and that was for someone totally different who only had availability 3 months away. So I found both of these docs myself. Mostly all of the other offices that I have called are booked through July and August. I don’t know if I should keep waiting on this if my son needs to correct his vision with glasses. I have the glasses (+250 in one eye and +400 other) so I may have him wear them as the first doc suggested for about 6 weeks, and then follow up with another appt. with him. I just wanted to make sure that I don’t damage his eyes even more if the script is wrong. I would assume a lower power is better to have (if it is wrong) than a stronger one?

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      • If you have the glasses, then I think trying to get your son to wear them is a good idea and see what the follow up looks like. Zoe’s prescription changed at her first follow-up visit, so I think that’s pretty common – and it may end up moving more towards the stronger prescription, or it may validate that first doctor. Do you know what the warranties are around the lenses? I think it is common for most places to replace lenses for free if changes are made in the first couple of months because of a doctor’s prescription change. Find out if there is some clause like that for the glasses you have, and then make sure the follow-up is scheduled within that time so that if the prescription changes you won’t have to pay for the lenses.

        I think you’re right, too, that a prescription that is not quite strong enough is better than one that is too strong, especially with farsighted prescriptions.

        Best of luck! This is hard enough without having to second guess on doctors and prescriptions. And if you’re comfortable with it, share a picture of your son in his glasses, I’m sure he looks great!

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      • Natmotts, I agree with AnnZ. If you have the glasses with the prescription in it from the first doctor, I would go ahead and try to get your son to wear them. He may not want to wear them at first, but once he gets used to something sitting on his nose, he will hopefully wear them easily. I don’t believe that you would do damage to his eyes even with the differing opinions. Many POs have different treatment strategies. We just recently got a second opinion with another doctor within the same POs office. He decreased our daughter’s prescription from 4.75 to 3.5. So, even when the doctors work together, they can have different opinions. It is however very important that you like the doctor you are seeing. The eyes will not need to be dilated every time you see a PO. They actually determine the prescription by the shining of the light into their eyes before they are dilated. If I was in your shoes, I would let your son wear the glasses that he has, make an appointment for the place your pediatrician recommended and when they have an opening, go in and see what they have to say. I would get the records from the other two doctors you saw already and show them to the new PO, so that they already know what results you got. After you get that third opinion, I would go with the doctor that gave you the best explanations, that worked best with your son, and that made you feel most comfortable. What was the reason you were referred by the pediatrician anyway? Is he crossing his eyes? I think that you need to be able to have a good feeling about the doctor you see as you will be seeing him often in the beginning, and if you will always question what his opinion is then it will be hard to work together to reach the best outcome for your son. Yes, do share a picture with us! I am sure he looks really cute in his glasses!

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  15. This is a very interesting post. My DS been diagnosed with amblyopia (20/400 left/ 20/20 right) has had his glasses for 1 week and is adjusting very well. I was told by our first PO that his perscription would be very unlikely to change. I found that hard to believe since he’s just turn 4. I searched for another doctor with a more flexible approach. Glad to see this isn’t completely common.

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  16. When my son first got his glasses, he was 6 months old and we were seeing what we could do to avoid surgery and trying a lot of things (various patching routines, updating his lens prescription frequently). For a 6-8 month stretch we were there every 6 weeks to follow up (though the appointments were generally 20-30 min long and pretty easy going). None of it worked entirely, though, so he had surgery shortly after he turned 1. Now he’s 2.5, and we go in every 6 months to follow up and make sure things are still straight and his prescription is accurate 🙂

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