Ask the Optician


Does My Child Need Glasses?

Children may not realize they have vision problems, never mindtell you, but there are some indicators that you can look out for.
Does My Child Need Glasses

If you’re wondering, ‘does my child need glasses?’ you’re in the right place. Your child’s eyesight is important, and it can be challenging to determine whether or not they need prescription glasses at a young age.

Communication can be an issue, as your little one might not be able to tell you they’re having sight problems. Undetected vision issues can impact your child’s everyday life.

All children should get an eye exam, even if there is no indication that they may be struggling to see, as they may be unaware they are seeing things incorrectly. Therefore, annual eye checks are important for your little one.

This article will cover the primary signs to look out for to help you understand if your child needs glasses. Following this article, if you have concerns about your child’s sight, please visit your local optician for a professional eye test.

Why do children need glasses?

There are many reasons why a child may require glasses. These can include the following:

  • Improving vision (for close-up vision, faraway vision, or both)
  • Strengthening vision in a weak or lazy eye
  • Improving the position of their eyes (crossed eyes or misaligned eyes)
  • Providing protection if they have poor vision in one eye

Signs your child needs glasses

Several signs indicate that your child may need glasses:

1. Squinting eyes

If you have noticed that your little one frequently squints to look at something, they may have a refractive error. This condition affects how well eyes focus on an image, and squinting can help focus their vision. Another condition related to squinting is amblyopia. Luckily, the condition can be corrected if identified early.

2. Excessive tearing, rubbing eyes, and eye fatigue

Maybe you’ve noticed your child rubs their eyes more often than usual and complains of tired eyes. These signs could indicate your child’s eyes are overworked. Excessive tearing and eye fatigue can occur due to blue light emitted from digital screens, which are impossible to avoid in today’s society.

We advise giving blue light glasses a go, which will help to block out harmful blue light. This way, your little one can wear these glasses when watching TV, doing their homework on the computer, or staring at the school projector.

3. Using their finger to read

You may have noticed during reading time with your child that they have started using their finger to read. Often, this can be a method to help them keep on track with the words on the page. However, it could also be a sign of amblyopia, a disorder associated with eye alignment problems.

4. Covering one eye to see

Another sign your child could have amblyopia is if they cover one eye to see clearly. An easy way to check if your child is having problems is to cover each of their eyes and ask what they can see and which eye sees more clearly.

5. Sitting too close to screens

Every child loves to sit close to the television when their favorite show is on. But if they do it often, there may be a chance your child has myopia. Myopia is also known as nearsightedness, which involves seeing objects close up clearly, but things further away are blurry.

Try asking your little one to sit further away from the TV and ask if they can still see the images clearly. If not, it’s time to book an appointment with the local optician.

6. Complaining about blurry vision at distance

Your little one might complain about not seeing the players clearly on the football field or may struggle to see the teacher at the front of the classroom. These problems could indicate they have nearsightedness and will require distance-wear glasses.

However, if your child complains about close-up objects looking blurry, they may have hyperopia. This is when someone can see things close to their eye but has problems seeing objects far away.

7. Losing place while reading

Asking your child to read out loud can improve their literacy skills and help you to monitor their eyesight and ability to read a text. If your child indicates to you that they cannot make sense of what is on a page, or they say that text gets distorted or blurry when reading, they may have a vision problem.

Losing their place frequently could indicate strabismus (crossed eyes) or astigmatism, which means light is focused at more than one place in the eye. This can cause blurry vision, headaches, and eye strain.

8. Extreme light sensitivity and headaches

Does your little one prefer being in darker rooms or suffer from headaches when outside on a sunny day? Your child could be photophobic, which involves sensitivity to light.

Therefore an option to help your little one could be special lenses or UV protection sunglasses. These frames will help to reduce the severity of your child’s sensitivity to light.


Children can often be reluctant to admit they have trouble seeing, so approach the topic with caution to avoid making them feel self-conscious.

Does my child really need glasses?

Suppose your child is exhibiting any of the above eight signs. In this case, we recommend booking a doctor’s appointment for a professional diagnosis. Your local optician will be able to check their eye health and diagnose any issues they may have.

However, just because your child is sitting too close to the TV does not necessarily mean they require corrective glasses, so wait to see what your optician says.

The best place to buy children’s prescription glasses

SmartBuyGlasses is a great place to find children’s prescription glasses following an optician’s appointment. Once you have the correct prescription, you can order a pair of frames easily and quickly online.

Unsure if your little one will like the glasses? Give our Virtual Try-On tool a go, and allow them to wear the glasses digitally before you buy. Best of all, we offer a 100-day return policy on all frames, so you can send them back if your child changes their mind!

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