We run into this situation from time to time. Your child is the model eyeglass wearer and then suddenly you can't get them to keep their glasses on even if you bribed them with ice cream, candy and another viewing of Frozen. In my experience, nearly every single time this happens there is a reason. Most children under the age of five have difficulty verbalizing what may be the problem, but they have no difficulty taking matters into their own hands and by matters, I mean their glasses!
It's important to remedy this issue as soon as possible. If it goes on for a long time, your child will only associate their glasses with a bad experience and by then it doesn't matter if you fix the problem, your child will only remember that this is a problem. Here are seven steps that you can go through to find out what the problem is so you can get your little one back to wearing them as soon as possible.
- Too loose?
Do your child's glasses look like they are fitting properly? They should be straight on the face and not sliding down. If a child's glasses rock around on his or her face while playing it becomes distracting and the first thing they will do is take them off. If this is the case, then visit your optician and get them adjusted.
- Too tight?
Children are always in that constant state of growth. Maybe your child's glasses need a little growth adjusting. Two things that may indicate this are:
Marks on the sides of the head where the side pieces lay. As your child's head gets wider, this pressure increases and can cause headaches.
Deep impressions left on the nose may indicate that the temples or side pieces are getting to short. As the distance from the eye to ear increases this can leave the glasses pulling tight against the sinuses. This can be quite uncomfortable. If this is the case, bring your child into the optician and show them the marks. Your optician can adjust the glasses for growth. If they do not have any room for adjustment, then your child should be fit with a larger pair.
- Those little rubbery nose pads
I run into this often. On metal frames there are these nice soft silicon nose pads. They are quite comfortable, but only if they are not broken in some way. Sometimes I have parents come in and say they put the rubber back on.
The nose pad has a hard plastic or metal core with soft silicon over top. This silicon can separate and come off sometimes as a sleeve, but its not supposed to do that. If this happens, please replace it as soon as possible.
But sometimes, the silicon is just cracked a little bit. You almost can't see it without a very close inspection. These cracks in the silicon leave the hard plastic exposed underneath and when it presses down on your child's nose, it is very uncomfortable. Mix that crack with a little sweat and oily skin and it can be quite painful. My point is that the pad may look just fine, but it could be making your child unhappy about his or her glasses.
Inspect the pads closely. Take your fingernail up and down the pad and side to side. If you see anything separate in the silicon, it needs to be replaced.
- Ear trouble
Time to look behind your child's ears. If your child has wrap-arounds or cable temples, look to make sure that it is not torn in any way. Any uneven surface behind the ear can be very distracting. Check the ends of the temples or side pieces for bite marks. Even a tiny bite mark can be painful to the thin skin behind the ear. If you see anything it should be repaired or replaced.
- Dirt and scratches
Anything on the lenses will decrease your child's vision. If it decreases it enough, your child won't want to be bothered with wearing them. First, clean the glasses then hold them up to the light. Look for marks or scratches. Anything that is deep enough to see and especially in the center of the lens could be causing a problem. It's best if you have any questions about whether or not it could be bothering your child's vision to visit your optician.
- Righty tighty, lefty loosy
Believe it or not, I've had some children who refuse to wear their glasses just because the screw was a little loose. When screws are lose on a frame it can be a little wobbly on the face and some kiddos can be sensitive to how that feels. But hey, if tightening a screw gets your child to wear his or her glasses...how easy is that?
- Time for a change?
It's possible your child is experiencing some kind of prescription change. I always keep this possibility in mind after I've explored all the other reasons. What better way to say, "These don't work like they used to," than to fire the glasses for doing a bad job? That is simply what many kids do when they refuse to wear their glasses. If your child has normally been compliant with wearing his or her glasses, but has chosen to put up a fight, this is a real possibility. I would recommend calling your doctor and getting an appointment. Your doctor plans to see your child at certain intervals, but if anything changes they will want to see them sooner. Your child suddenly refusing to wear his or her glasses is definitely a change.