how magnified will my child’s eyes be in glasses?

One question I see a lot is how different will a child’s eyes look when they’re wearing glasses, especially if they have particularly high prescriptions.  It is true that glasses will change the appearance of eyes: nearsighted lenses will make the eyes appear smaller, and farsighted lenses will make the eyes appear larger.  The higher the prescription, the more noticeable the effect.  Getting high index lenses will make the effect much less noticeable (they’re also thinner and lighter).

Zoe in her highest prescription of +6.25

In my experience, the effect was far less than I feared.  While I noticed Zoe’s eyes looking a little larger in her glasses, they never appeared “bug eyed”, and I am guessing that someone that didn’t know Zoe wouldn’t have noticed it at all.  From looking at the photo gallery, I think this holds true for most prescriptions, but that’s where I need your help.  For one, I know that Zoe’s prescription is only moderate, and that many of you have kids with a higher prescription.  But I don’t know what the prescriptions are for any of the pictures in the gallery other than Zoe.  If you have a child with a prescription of greater than 8 (I’m looking for both nearsighted and farsighted prescriptions, so greater than +8 or -8), would you be willing to share a picture of them in glasses and what their prescription is (or let me know that their picture is in the gallery) so that I can give parents an idea of how much or little their child’s eyes will be distorted by the glasses?

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19 responses to “how magnified will my child’s eyes be in glasses?

  1. Hi Ann, Paris is -4.5 in her right eye and plano in the left and with that script you really can’t tell that the right eye looks a tiny bit smaller. You would only notice it if you knew and even then it is very minor. I also pay for the thin lenses and would pay whatever it took to make sure they are as light and thin as possible as I think it makes a huge difference to the appearance to the eyes and especially for the higher perscriptions. If I didn’t get the thinner lenses it would be very noticable and the lense on that side would be very thick. Paris has beautiful big blue eyes so I hate the thought of her glasses which are a minus lense making her eyes appear smaller 🙂

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  2. I’m emailing you a more recent image of Bennett, he was at -12/-8 in the photo and I don’t notice any distortion with the glasses or a discrepancy between the two eyes even with the big difference in strength.

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  3. My son is -7.5 / -18. Yes there is a difference, the reality is that yes you can see that the left eye is smaller, but truly not so dramatically that it is distracting. he looks good.

    stick to round, small lenses because for nearsighted the thinnest part of the lens is the center. With a larger lens you get more thickness at the edges

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  4. Thanks GeorgeB, you are right, I think stick to small round lenses too, definitely gives the best appearance. Your son looks great!!
    Did your PO say anything about going to contact lenses at a young age for your son becasue of the high script and difference between the eyes? Ours seemed to think around eight or nine would be appropriate for Paris to go to a contact lense in her weak eye?

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    • Ingrid, we may consider at around that age too. His PO had mentione dit in the past, but circumstances would dictate whether we try sooner, if at all..

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  5. Pingback: pictures of kids in glasses with a strong prescription « little four eyes·

  6. im in a similar situation my daughter is 5 she didnt pass a kindergaten eye test and i too her to 2 dr.’s who said her eye sight is bad they want to put her in glasses of plus 10 1/2 witch is a Very high perscription,im worried i didnt notice her eyes to be bad and more so that bad,is it ok to start a young child on such a high perscriprionlike that from 1 day to the next?

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  7. I have just found out that my almost 3 year old has to have a +8 lens in his glasses and this is only his second pescription.
    This came as quite a shock to me as I had no idea that his vision was so bad up till the squint appeared at around 2 years old. Dose this mean he has had this as a baby and I never noticed!?
    Also, anyone know if an operation is nessasary? (Because I cant get the doctors over here to talk to me about that!)
    P.S Great web site! This has been great help to me, since I feel that there is know one to talk to about this kind of stuff who is in the same position.

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    • Hi Tracy, That’s a really good question about whether your son’s hyperopia was always present, and honestly, I don’t know. I know that many kids seem to develop strabismus (a squint) at age 2 or 3 that’s due to hyperopia, but I don’t know if that’s due to a change in their refractive error, or if it’s because their hyperopia is finally manifesting itself as eyes crossing. If anyone else knows, I’d love to know the answer to that, too.

      If his eyes are straight while wearing glasses, then no, there should be no need for an operation. I have read that in 3 out of 4 cases, no surgery is necessary.

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  8. We just found out our 6 yr old will need glasses 10.5 in L eye and 0.25. In R eye, I am very concerned as 2 how different his eyes will appear with his glasses on. We will find out in a couple days when his glasses get here….

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    • Hi Colesmommy, that really is a big differences in prescriptions between your son’s eyes. Please let us know how it goes, and how it looks once the glasses arrive.

      Best to you and your son.

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  9. My 5 yo daughter just got a prescription for +3.5. She already has large eyes, so I’m concerned about how they will look. I read that high index lenses will help minimize the magnification effect, but the optician I called says he only uses polycarbonate lenses in young kids and that high index are not safe. I’d love to hear thoughts on this. I’m very new to all this! Thanks

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    • My daughter has +5.00 lenses and I honestly don’t notice the magnification too much, though admittedly, I’m pretty used to her in glasses now. Polycarbonate is already a higher index material, though there is higher index out there. You might ask about aspheric lenses. That refers to the way the lenses are cut rather than the material, and that also reduces the magnification and distortion (though it does increase the cost). Here’s a photo of my Zoe, it’s a couple of years old, but her prescription hasn’t changed much since then Z

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      • Ann, thank you so much for your quick response. Your daughter is adorable. My daughter actually saw this as I was reading it and said “That’s me with glasses!” Considering she doesn’t have bangs or a terribly strong resemblance to Zoe, I think this just goes to show how badly she needs them. So, what kind of a place makes aspherical lenses? I asked today at the 2nd shop we went to (a Pearle Vision) and they said they don’t make them. They offered me the 1.67 lenses or just plain polycarbonate. They told me the 1.67 lenses would be less thick, but would not reduce the magnification effect. I’m not sure how knowledgeable this person was; does that sound right to you? She is leaning toward wire frames so I’m wondering if the 1.67 would be worth the extra $80ish just to reduce the thickness. It’s so hard to know when you haven’t seen the frames with your prescription. Thanks again… this is a great site!

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        • Thanks KE, I think she’s pretty adorable (and awesome), too! I’m not an optician, so I don’t know a lot about this, I think though that it’s true that the high-index lenses wouldn’t reduce the magnification the way an aspheric lens will. I have read that aspheric lenses are more complicated to cut and so it may be that they need to be made at place that sends the glasses to an outside lab, but I’m not sure about that. Are there other optical shops in your area that you could call and ask? Personally, I think I wouldn’t spend the extra on the 1.67 lenses, but I would for aspheric lenses especially for farsighted prescriptions.

          I hope your daughter loves her glasses, no matter what you end up going with! I bet she’ll love being able to see more easily.

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  10. My 3 year old son has +8 and +8.25. We took him for a eye test the day after his birthday, we bought him a tablet (he also has hip issues that prevent him running around) and he held it to his nose. I was shocked to find out how bad his sight was. but he loves his LEGO glasses and wont let anybody touch them.

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  11. I can tell that usually the distortion is less dramatic in negative lenses
    glasses with +1 diopdres (like my mum’s) already have a noticeable distortion.
    Glasses with -1 don’t show any distortion. Distortion is more noticeable past -2 dyoptres.

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