Child needs glasses?

Discussion in 'Glasses' started by EmmettPower, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. EmmettPower

    EmmettPower Guest


    I have a son who is 6 years old. He recently had his eyes tested at
    Boots Opticians (UK) and had the following reading:

    -Sph: +0.50
    -Cyl: DS
    -Sph: +0.50
    -Cyl: DS

    The optician was adamant that he needs glasses. I'm suspicious of Boots
    Opticians because I have had pressure from them in the past to change
    my glasses for a very marginal change in my eyesight. Needless to say
    the ones that suited me cost £200.

    My son doesn't want glasses (to put it mildly) and I have no doubt that
    if we do get him glasses they will rapidly be 'lost' or broken - I'd
    give them a life expectancy of less than one day.

    I have read that if a child does not show symptoms such as constant
    headaches and blurry vision, they should not be prescribed glasses and
    that, anyway, almost all children have low-grade long-sightedness,
    which they grow out of at about age 8-10.

    I have also read that children below the age of l0 should have their
    pupils widened with eye drops before being tested: the optician did not
    do this.

    My inclination is to hold off and have him tested again in a year or

    I'd appreciate any comments.


    EmmettPower, Oct 28, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. EmmettPower

    otisbrown Guest

    Dear Emmett,

    I am not a "doctor", but a
    from the study of primate
    eyes, refractive states
    from zero to plus 1.5 diopters
    are normal.

    There might be some
    "reason" for this "prescription",
    but the OD should give you a
    COMPLETE explanation.

    Just my opinion.

    otisbrown, Oct 28, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. EmmettPower

    otisbrown Guest

    Dear Emmett,

    Subject: The second-opinion

    The ODs on this site will provide their opinion -- shortly.

    I would suggest holding off on getting the glasses.

    I would strongly suggest that you personally
    check your child's vision under your control.

    (You have nothing to lose by doing this.)

    You will find two eye charts on my site:

    For that checking. I suspect
    his distant vision is close to 20/40 or

    The ODs on this site don't like me providing
    a layman's opinion. But I always suggest
    that you be provided with a competent
    second opinion.


    otisbrown, Oct 28, 2005
  4. EmmettPower

    EmmettPower Guest

    Dear Otis,

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll check him on your charts.


    EmmettPower, Oct 28, 2005
  5. EmmettPower

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    According to Otis Brown, engineer, wearing plus lenses can prevent
    myopia from developing.

    Dr. Leukoma, Oct 28, 2005
  6. EmmettPower

    otisbrown Guest

    Dear Emmett,

    Subject: Child with refractive status of +1/2 diopter and
    (potentially) 20/20 vision.

    I also suggest you obtain a WRITTEN description
    of WHY your child is being put into a +1/2 diopter lens.

    Once you are clear on the REASONS, the
    some further discussion would be in order.

    The REASONS are far more important that
    the use of any lens -- at this point.


    otisbrown, Oct 28, 2005
  7. EmmettPower

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Robert, that's silly. Any optometrist can also rule-out amblyopia, and
    there are far more of them than pediatric ophthalmologists. Where do
    you live?

    Dr. Leukoma, Oct 28, 2005
  8. EmmettPower

    EmmettPower Guest


    I live near London, where there is every sort of specialist going, so I
    am sure that it's possible to find a pediatric ophthalmologist if need
    be. It would be time-consuming and expensive though: specialists do not
    come cheap in London.


    EmmettPower, Oct 28, 2005
  9. EmmettPower

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    I agree that the over-use of specialists contributes to the high cost
    of healthcare. However, you have socialized medicine. If the GP
    thinks you need to see a specialist it may cost you nothing.

    Here in the U.S., optometrists are extremely well-trained, especially
    in the diagnosis of amblyopia. Children half the age of your son are
    regularly seen in my practice. Despite the well-meaning(or not so
    well-intentioned) comments of Mr. Kopp and others, most of us do not
    check our ethics at the door when we come to work each day. What Mr.
    Kopp and others fail to mention is that pediatric ophthalmologists also
    make a living....from surgery and treatments for -- and I bet you saw
    this coming -- amblyopia. Some of them even own dispensaries and sell
    (gasp) eyeglasses. I could tell some very interesting stories.

    Dr. Leukoma, Oct 28, 2005
  10. EmmettPower

    Ann Guest

    When my children were small, they are now 24 and 27, there was a
    programme on television, one of the Watchdog type of things, which
    investigated opticians and their over prescribing of glasses to
    children. Just after seeing the programme, I took my son to an
    optician and was told he needed glasses. I then took him to a smaller
    non chain optician who said that was rubbish. So I'd say avoid the
    optician chains and go for one of the little independents.

    Ann, Oct 28, 2005
  11. EmmettPower

    Ann Guest

    It wasn't a doctor, it was an optician.
    Ann, Oct 28, 2005
  12. EmmettPower

    Dan Abel Guest

    At that age, for .5D, I don't think it's worth the battle. I'm speaking
    as a parent, not an eye professional. I would watch him carefully,
    especially reading, and let his teacher know so they will watch for

    One year, I would say. And maybe a different optician.
    Dan Abel, Oct 28, 2005
  13. Especially with only .5 hyperopia, which is completely insignificant in
    a young child, no matter what. If there is an issue with amblyopia or
    heterotropia, they are not due to the .5, that's for sure. Bogus advice
    from the gitgo...

    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, Oct 29, 2005
  14. EmmettPower

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Bottom line here, Emmett, is that if your 6 year/old child is
    asymptomatic(i.e. has no headaches), has normal and equal acuities in
    both eyes, is binocular, and has no trouble reading at grade level,
    then such a small prescription seems to be a moot point, in my opinion.
    I know that there are a number of good ophthalmic opticians in the
    London environs who are not affiliated with Boots or similar.

    Dr. Leukoma, Oct 29, 2005
  15. As far as I am concerned, +0.50s is a homeopathic, insignificant refractive
    error. When it is equal and bilateral, it serves no purpose whatsoever to
    order it, except to pad the optician's pocket.

    David Robins, MD
    Board certified Ophthalmologist
    Pediatric and adult strabismus subspecialty
    Member of AAPOS
    (American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus)
    David Robins, MD, Oct 29, 2005
  16. You are correct that I don't have the chart in front of me. But I do
    know that no matter what the "real" refraction is, +.50 O.U. is going to
    do absolutely nothing for anything. I have no problem with getting a
    2nd opinion, but to get all worked up about the +.50 is idiotic. Nothing
    in the post suggests anything serious is happening.

    Enough of this; I'm out of here for 2 weeks (sailing to Cabo San Lucas).

    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, Oct 29, 2005
  17. EmmettPower

    otisbrown Guest

    Dear David,

    I am pleased to hear you say that. But that begs the
    question, why was the Optician "adamant" about
    prescribing a "plus 1/2". Was he taught that
    all "refractive errors" must be fixed, or
    serious consequences will follow?
    Perhaps Emmett could check on the reason
    for this man's adamant requirement. It would
    be worth it to here a more complete reason.




    Emmett> The optician was adamant that he needs glasses. I'm suspicious
    of Boots
    Opticians because I have had pressure from them in the past to change
    my glasses for a very marginal change in my eyesight. Needless to say
    the ones that suited me cost £200.
    otisbrown, Oct 29, 2005
  18. Hi Emmett,

    At that prescription I would not prescribe spectacles UNLESS there was a
    very good reason, which is not evident from your initial posting.

    For a second opinion try the Institute of Optometry, 56-62 Newington
    Causeway, London SE1. or Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London or Great
    Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. But I'd try the Institute first.


    Ian Hodgson - Isle of Man
    Ian Hodgson opticians, Oct 29, 2005
  19. In the UK the term optician is used by the general public to refer to an
    optometrist. It is only in the last 10 years or so that the term optometrist
    has started being used in the UK because prior to that it was not a
    protected title. The protected title was 'Ophthalmic Optician', a change in
    the legislation protected both titles.

    An eye examination may only be carried out by an Optometrist/Ophthalmic
    Medical Practitioner/Ophthalmologist

    Incidently Optometrists in the UK are not officially doctors as the degree
    is first level ie a BSc some are but have a second level degree ie a PhD.
    This is due to the education system, rather than the level of training. As
    an aside some GP's are not in degree terms Doctors as they hold a Bachelor
    in Medicine degree Doctor is a courtesy title.


    Ian Hodgson BSc FCOptom - Isle of Man
    Ian Hodgson opticians, Oct 29, 2005
  20. EmmettPower

    Dick Adams Guest

    Hypothetically now:

    What would be the opinion of the child were myopic by ~0.50D, that is
    to say, calling for a correction of -0.50D in each of the two eyes?

    Another hypothetical:

    What if the child had astigmatism to the extent of 0.50 diopers in one
    or more eyes?
    Dick Adams, Oct 29, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.