The Simple Way to Tell if Your Kid Will Need Glasses When They're Older

kid in glasses

One-third of us will end up near-sighted, and the problem typically starts between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. So how can you tell if your kid is one of them? Well, a new study says there's a simple way to predict if a kid will need glasses starting as young as age 6 -- and no, it's not just because mom wears 'em, or your tyke sits super close to the TV.


According to study author Karla Zadnik, dean of the College of Optometry at Ohio State University, the key is a child's refractive error -- a measure of how the shape of your child's eyes keeps them from focusing. Ophthalmologists take this measurement during eye exams when they place different lenses in front of patients' eyes then asking, "which is better, 1 or 2?"

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According to their research, kids with refractive errors of less than +0.75 diopters in first grade are most likely to become nearsighted down the road.

What's more, this research debunked a bunch of wive' tales many believe about why kids end up near-sighted. For instance, having near-sighted parents is a factor, but not as strong as refractive error. Making kids read eye charts weren't as reliable at this test, either. Meanwhile the old "sitting too close to the TV" or burying your nose in books weren't risk factors for myopia at all.

Moral of the story? Given kids aren't always forthright about their struggles to see the chalkboard in class, it's imperative that parents get kids their year eye exam, and know that eye charts screenings aren't enough. While most eye exams include a refractive error test, not all eye doctors may give these results the weight they deserve, so be sure to ask about the number and follow up regularly to ensure your kid doesn't have to squint through class.

How did you find out your child needed glasses?


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