Berkeley Parents Network >
Health & Medical >
I am looking for some recommendations for a place where i
can get durable and yet affordable eye glasses for my kid in
south bay. my kid seems to break his glasses very often and
it seems t cause us a lot inspite of getting insurance for
his glasses. So just wondering if you know of any brand or
type of glasses that i can order and also an place that
carries them. i live in the santa clara county so will
greatly appreciate any reco for a south bay store.
I must admit, I am a former glasses snob, but after years of
stressing over broken, lost, or falling apart frames that
were over $600, my very practical husband successfully
talked me into:
I now have several pair that I keep in various places, and I
even bought some prescription sunglasses; all are stylish, and
not one pair was more than $65, and several were half that.
Life with glasses is much simpler this way. I'm converted.
My 10-year-old needs glasses. We took him to the UCB clinic and have a
prescription already, so we don't need an optometrist to do an exam; we
just need to buy the glasses. Looking for a kid-friendly storefront
optician with a good selection of colorful frames and reasonable prices,
ideally in the El Cerrito-Albany-North Berkeley zone. Thanks for any
It has been a few years since we have been to the practice... Dr
Miller and Stolaryzk at El Cerrito Plaza had some very nice and
reasonably priced frames for my kids
UC Optometry. Great selection. You don;t need to get an eye exam to buy glasses.
My 4 year old, who has been wearing glasses for almost 2
years, could use a new pair of frames. He currently wears
Miraflex frames which are awesome (unbreakable). But now
that he's getting older I'd like to venture into different
frames. Can anyone suggest a place that has a large
selection of kids frames to try on? Most places tend to have
a handful to choose from. Thank you!
UC Eye Clinic (on campus) has a great selection of frames
for kids (and adults). Parent of a kid with glasses
My 4.5 year old daughter has also worn glasses for about two
years, and we've had good luck with El Cerrito Optometry. We
never went the Miraflex route and we've definitely had to
replace a few glasses, but now that my daughter is older she
does take better care of them. I've found that El Cerrito
Optometry has a pretty large selection of children's
glasses, and decent price ranges, and they are very friendly
and helpful there. Ask for Gary - he seems to be great at
fitting glasses for kids, finding selections based on your
preferences, and making good suggestions. Even though the
glasses we've had aren't as 'unbreakable' as the Miraflex
ones are supposed to be, they do often have good features
like flexible bridges and flexible hinges on the arms.
UC Berkeley Optomotry Clinic has a ton of kids' glasses
including specialty glasses for sports and things like that.
My daughter is 8-- started wearing glasses at 7 and has had two prescription changes
already. I also began wearing glasses at 7 and have terrible eyesight. Is there anything
to be done to slow this down, or is it inevitable? Exercises? We are both big readers. Is
that a factor? Thanks.
Hi: Know young people in Los Angeles w/ ''cokebottle'' glasses and
they got night contacts to they could play sports. You wear the
contacts only at night and wear nothng during the day. These
specially designed night contacts shape/correct your eyes while
you sleep. Experience immediate results. After one night,
patient will have 20/20 vision. However, contacts must be worn
every night. Over the years, it is possible that night contacts
may help stop worsening but will not be weaned from wearing the
night contacts. Night contacts are very popular in Los Angeles,
but this technology is not all that popular in the Bay Area, for
reasons I cannot fathom. A well trained optomotrist will be
able to fit your daughter. About $1500 and insurance will not
cover. Not cheap, but well worth the money and to be free from
wearing glasses! Hope this helps.
My eyesight went seriously downhill between ages 6 (when my
vision was 20/50) and 10 (when it hit 20/400). At that time, my
optometrist recommended gas-permeable contact lenses, saying that
they act like braces for the corneas and keep their shape from
changing any further. This worked... my vision stabilized, and 25
years later it is only marginally worse. I have been wearing
gas-permeable lenses ever since. I lost and broke more lenses in
the first five years than in the following 20, so
age/responsibility is definitely a consideration, but overall it
has worked well. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions.
You should take your daughter to University of California
Berkeley School of Optometry (http://www.caleyecare.org/). My
daughter is doing anti-myopia technique that works in theory in
children/teens. She was prescribed *bifocal* contact lenses
because preliminary research has shown this to slow myopia
They can tell you more about it and if it is right for your
child. We don't know if it will work, but it doesn't cause any
harm and my daughter quickly grew accustomed to vision through
bifocals contact lenses. I have been very happy with the care
she has been getting at the UCB Eye Care Clinic too.
Worth a try!
My son who just turned 3 has been wearing glasses for the last 6 months.
We originally purchased Miraflex glasses and they have been great. He
adjust to wearing them just fine, so they must be comfortable, etc.
These glasses are pretty indestructible but big and clunky (although
pretty cute). Now that he is used to wearing glasses I'd like to find
him some ''cooler'' frames but they must be durable. I've seen flexible
glasses on-line but haven't found a store with a large selection.
Can anyone recommend a glasses store with a large selection of kid frames?
Mom with kid in glasses
My son has worn glasses since he was 1 (he's now 5) so we've tried
several. We loved the miraflex glasses until he was 3 and we wanted
something more grown up. I have found a great selection both at UC
Berkeley Eye Clinic and at Dr. Moonsamy's optometry center on Lakeshore.
A few things of note - My kid is hard on glasses but flexibility is not as
important for us as having the wire ear pieces (you know, that go around
the back of the ear). These keep the glasses on really well and are
comfortable. You may not know this, but any pair of glasses can be fitted
Try Montclair Optical in Montclair Village, Thornhill exit of highway 13.
My daughter has two pairs of glasses from them. The first are regular
pink frames, very flexible and very light weight. The opthamologist loved
them. The second are also flexible and light weight, and she got to play
with these lego/plastic pieces, putting together some different colors to
see how they would look together. She ended up with green sides and a
blue nose bridge, they are very cute. I think both are Swissflex.
- good glasses are important
Our 1.5yo daughter was prescribed glasses, and she hates them.
She needs to wear them all the time, but she will only agree a
few minutes a day, on a very very good day.
Does anyone out there have similar experience/advice suggestions?
It seems that part of her problem is that she does not like to
have anything on her head at all. She pushes the glasses off, and
if we put them back on she resists or cries.
Wanting To Help My Daughter
Getting an 18 month old to wear glasses is HARD!! They are too young to bribe and
too old to just accept it. But, having said that, you can do it!!! The trick is that the
parents have to be 100% consistent and buy in 100% to the fact that the child must
wear the glasses.
Now, there are very few things that kids need glasses for at 18 months, so I'm going
to guess that your child is at risk for developing amblyopia or lazy eye. There is a
small window in which to prevent this. When kids are born, their eye-brain
connections are not fully formed--those connections happen in the first few years
of life. When your child is not wearing their glasses, those connections are not being
made for one or both of their eyes. It is serious business.
I suggest this: 1) try sneaking the glasses on the child before they wake up. 2)
EVERYTHING stops when the glasses come off. There is no fun, there is no food.
You do so very calmly. If play is happening, look down, take toy away, and child gets
put in the pack and play. when the glasses go back on, they get lots of oohing and
aahing, and they get to come out and resume play. When they are eating, if glasses
come off, food gets quietly taken away, parents become quiet, look down, and
nothing resumes until glasses are allowed to be put back on.
The glasses have to be the number one priority for a while until your child accepts
them, and trust me, they will. The child may not be able to notice right now that
they see better out of the glasses because their eyes are behind, but they will, when
those connections start to be formed.
If YOU are at all uncertain if the glasses are necessary or correct, then you MUST get
a second opinion. In order for this plan to work, you have to be 100% on board, so if
you need a second opinion to get that peace of mind that your efforts are not
unfounded, then do it!! I highly recommend you go to a pediatric optometrist for
this opinion. UC Berkeley School of Optometry is who I trust with my kids eyes
because I have a history of this and didn't want my kids to have problems too.
you can do it!
Our 4-year-old son started wearing glasses at about 20 months, so
he was a bit older, but we had the same problem. It took several
months to get to the point where he left his glasses on most of
the day without fuss. Here's what worked for us: We'd put the
glasses on, and when he took them off we would simply replace
them on his face -- no discussion, no reprimands, just put them
back on -- sometimes as often as 20 or 30 times. His protests
became less and less frequent, and within about 3 months ended
altogether. It takes a LOT of patience and consistency, but
eventually your child will get used to them.
Another thing that helped was to fit his glasses with an elastic
strap around the back of his head. It helped to keep them from
falling off, and made it harder for him to take them off by
himself. You can find these at most optical shops that carry a
large selection of children's frames.
My daughter has been wearing glasses since she was 15 months. She
was very fearful of the glasses at first. She had a huge
screaming fit in the optometry clinic when we picked them up. It
was a nightmare.
The first thing I would suggest is for you to get some glasses,
even if they are just frames with clear lenses or, if you wear
contacts, wear your actual glasses instead for a while. Have both
parents and siblings wear glasses too if there are any. If
everyone wears glasses she might want to too.
The other thing I did was to put her glasses on a stuffed animal
and talk about how cute they were and give the animal hugs, etc.
She totally loved that. When she finally decided to wear them I'd
tell her how cute she was and give her hugs, etc. just like the
I think she finally realized that she could actually see better
with the glasses when she stopped having a fit about wearing
them. Now she is 3yrs old and happily wears them all the time. We
never have trouble with her taking them off. She asks for them if
we forget to get them first thing in the morning.
If you end up needing to patch, post again and I'll tell you what
worked for us. Good luck!
My daughter has been wearing glasses since whe was about the
the same age as yours. She also never likes having things on
her head, although I must admit she surprised me by taking
fairly well to her glasses (until recently, that is. She's 3.5,
and I spend a good deal of time looking around the house to see
wear she has left them I think maybe her vision was bad
enough that she actually appreciated them
I don't know what kind of frames you have, for her, but perhaps
thay are not comfortable enough? We LOVE ours, they are
Miraflex, and can be purchases at the UCB School of Optometry.
They staock a few, but can order a huge variety of colors. They
are are flexible ad have an attractive built in elastic band.
The flexibility makes them safer to wear, and much more dmage
Maybe if she helps pick the color, she will be more agreeable?
Aside from that, I would suggest lots of positive
reinforcement, ie: Great job, you wore your glasses for the
whole (meal, show, game, story fill in your own), etc.
Mom of a spectacled sprite
Our first grade daughter may need glasses for reading. If this
comes to pass, I foresee lots of lost glasses. What do parents
of kids who wear glasses part time do to prevent this? My
daughter is not particularly forgetful or careless, but she DOES
sometimes lose/misplace things that she takes back and forth to
school. Can anyone recommend an occulist who is inexpensive but
does the job right? Is there insurance for replacing lost glasses?
Thanks very much in advance for any advice on this topic.
My daughter got glasses at that age too, and now is in 4th grade.
She has not yet lost a pair of glasses - although some have gone
walkabout for a few weeks at a time. What I recommend is getting
a spare pair. There's an online site called Zenni Optical that
I've used, and gotten $19 glasses for her. They even have some
$9 ones! You can get sunglass clip-ons for another $4. What you
need is the prescription, plus the pupil-to-pupil measurement.
The details are on the site. That eye-distance measurement is
not typically on the prescription for some reason, but the eye
doctor has it and can/will provide it if you ask. You also need
to know the lens width that fits her face (e.g. 43mm). All
easily available at the eye doctor's.
I lose things myself sometimes - including glasses, and since my
daughter is generally a careful kid I don't make a big deal if
the glasses go missing - it's human, after all, to lose stuff
sometimes. Having that cheap extra pair helps keep it in
Two people, eight eyes
I now buy my glasses from http://www.eyebuydirect.com/ My last
order was 2 pairs for $25 delivered. Perfect lenses and only
small frame adjustments needed.
cheap good vision
My son is 8 years old and has had to wear glasses since the end
of last school year. He is on his second pair which I now fear
may be missing. I am at my wits end. He is supposed to wear
them at all times but he keeps taking them off because the
prongs that sit on the bridge of his nose hurt him. It is then
that he forgets them and cannot recall where he had them last.
His glasses are expensive. I'm not talking designer frames and
such, they're just expensive. We grounded him before-- no tv,
no video games and lots of chores, but I don't think it was
very effective. Can anyone recommend an alternative to glasses
or some method to keep an 8 year-old boy from forgetting?
Have you tried a cool pair of ''croakies'', the sporty strap that
holds glasses around your neck if they fall off? (REI etc carry
them) Or you could start a trend with librarians' beaded straps?
I'd lose mine too...
Our 9-year old daughter has worn glasses since 18mos. She used
to wear the kind with the nose prongs, but her last two pairs
have been all-plastic frames (we replace them as she outgrows
them). She says they're more comfortable. Also, you can get a
sporty glasses strap to attach to the ear pieces, so that if he
takes them off, he can leave them around his neck. We get them
from an optical shop that offers a warrantee to replace the
lenses up to two times per year for a minimal fee, which is
nice, since her glasses get so scratched up. Also found that
we can get prescription swim goggles, which is great since she
sees double without the glasses.
Why not try Croakies kids eyewear retainers? www.croakies.com
They come in solids and prints and are a great way for kids to
play and go to schoool without losing their glasses. I think you
can get them at R.E.I
I have noticed that my 7 month old son very rarely will go
cross-eyed for a second before straightening out his eyes. My
pediatrician recommended seeing an opthamologist. We saw an
opthamologist last week, and he diagnosed that my son has a +4
far-sightedness, and should get glasses. I asked him what would
cause this, and was told purely genetics. My husband and I both
have 20/20 vision, and all of our parents got glasses in their
40's, which makes me question the genetics of it. It seems that
if I had never noticed that my son had these brief moments of
cross-eyes, that this would have never been diagnosed, and
therefore, never treated. Has anyone had to put their babies
in glasses? If so, for what reason and how did you know there
was a problem to even get it diagnosed. I would love to talk to
another parent who has had to deal with glasses in an infant.
I would take your child to the Infant-Toddler Clinic at UC
Berkeley. Drs. Deborah Orel-Bixler & Sarah Fisher are both
incredible with babies and have many years of specialized
experience with your child's type of issues. They can explain
the eye-development process in babies and answer your
questions. You can call 642-2020 for an appointment.
Just wanted to add my $0.02. I'm an O.D., but not a peds
specialist. With that said, I don't think you should get too
worked up about the genetics of the refractive error, i.e.
farsightedness. 3 diopters of refractive error is roughly
equal to 1mm of axial length, i.e. the length of the eyeball
from cornea to the retina. So, in the fastly developing 7
month old, a 1.33mm mismatch (and I'm assuming some things
here) between the corneal curvature and the axial length is not
that tremendous. I don't mean to make light of your situation,
please know that I share in your concern. Be glad it was
caught and good for you for bringing it to your peds
attention. The American Optometric Association recommends an
eye exam for infants before their 1st birthday. Check out
their InfantSee program. I'm sorry I can't add anything about
babies in glasses. From my schooling they seem to do well with
headstrap non-breakable one-piece frames, like the Como Baby
(if that's still made that is).
Not a peds OD but a new mom
I am far sighted. I got glasses when I was five, but I should
have begun wearing them when I was three. Because my vision was
not corrected at the appropriate time I began to develop a ''lazy
eye'' where one of my eyes turned in (and off) while focusing
with the other eye which was stronger. Fortunately in correcting
my vision through a series of glasses my eyes were able to be
retrained to work together.
We were fortunate when my oldest son was born to be solicited to
be part of a longitudinal study at the UC Optometry School that
focused on how the eye grows and changes in children. He was
seen by the study from the age of 3 months until he was 6.
Through his participation I learned that all babies are born
farsighted. As they grow older their eyes grow and by around age
three the majority have ''normal'' vision. I also learned that
children should all have an eye exam at around one year of age
to make sure that everything is going well. Finally, crossed
eyes or an eye turning in can be caused by various
circumstances. Sometimes eyeglasses are enough to fix the
problem but in others children will need to wear an eye patch or
through surgury. Usually they try less invasive measures
(glasses) first and work up.
At his three y.o. screening in the study we were told it was
time for him to get glasses... basically he was still just as
farsighted as ever. We went to the Infant/Toddler Clinic at the
UC School of Optometry where he was evaluated and they wrote his
prescription. At that appointment the professor stressed that it
was very good that his vision had been caught because without
correction he was at risk of developing ''lazy eye'' and also
being unable to develop depth perception.
There is obviously a big difference between 7mos and 3yrs... but
it doesn't sound odd to me that your child is farsighted at that
age. If you are noticing eye turning, glasses are probably in
order. Many children are not caught early but still need
glasses. If you are looking for a second opinion call the UC
Optometry School (642-2020) and get and appointment in the
Infant/Toddler Clinic. We have seen several different professors
there and always had all of our questions answered.
Hope that helps.
Hi - my daughter went to the eye doctor at one because she had
a droopy eye, and at the same time he diagnosed her as severely
farsighted. However, this doctor, who is well known in the
field, told us that he would not even consider putting her in
glasses until at least two. He said that children's eyes change
so fast that you can't even tell what there vision will be like
until that time. Sure enough, at two her vision was fine. So
maybe waiting is the answer. At the very least get a second
My 5 years-old daughter needs prescription glasses. I want to
hear from other parents who have kids wearing glasses. Are they
teased in school? If they are, what good responses have you come
up with? Should we go with bright fun glasses or more discreet
blend-in ones? Do the kids that age ressent wearing glasses or
enjoy being a little different? What about books for kids on
My daughter needed glasses also at five years old, but unfortunately we
did not realize the severity of her problem
until she wasn't reading in the middle of first grade. We
also had to do eye patching, eye exercises, and lots of testing - we
practically lived at the UC Optometry Clinic that year.
She is now ten years old. We have been going to therapy over the past
year, and she has discussed at length being teased mercilessly the first
year or so after she got glasses.
If I could do it over, I would ask my daughter daily how things are
going. I would talk to the teacher(s) and ask them to pay attention to
any teasing, and I would follow up repeatedly with the teacher.
You should feel good about recognizing the issue early on, and asking
how to handle the situation. Lastly, regarding styles, it took several
years to hit upon the right style for my daughter. Make sure to get
sturdy frames and protective
This is an answer from my sister, who is an optometrist down in southern
''Kids that age love wearing glasses, in general. I have actually had
kids (usually between the ages of 4 to 11 or so) who cry when I tell
them they don't need glasses.
I would, personally, go with bright colors, because I always say that if
you're going to wear glasses, you may as well wear glasses! But
especially important is to let the kid choose the frames instead of the
parents, because then she'll wear them!''
Our daughter got her first pair of glasses (at 5 years old) 7 months
ago. She was very unconcerned about wearing them from the very
beginning. It may be that since she is an identical twin, she welcomed
the chance to look different. I too was concerned that she might get
teased but am happy to report that she has not experienced any teasing
I would like to comment on one thing that I would have done differently.
I figured that since she was young and active that I didn't want to
spend a great deal of money on glasses (which at most boutique frame
stores can be quite pricey) assuming that they would probably get
broken. So we went with a relatively inexpensive pair at Lenscrafters.
For 7 months we have been going back and forth to get them adjusted as
they have never fit properly (slide down her nose, seem a bit too wide).
Last week the frames finally broke so today I went to a local frame
store and ''invested'' in a much more expensive but flexible/bendable
frame and received much more individualized attention. I believe it is
worth it in the long run to get a frame that can hold up to the energy
of an elementary school child.
My son is 5 and has worn glasses for about a year now. There was a
slight adjustment period at first -- mostly the fact that they felt
funny. He loved the way they looked. He's always been a kid who likes
dressing up and to him, his glasses were just a fun accessory. He also
seemed to like that he could see better, too, of course. I let him
choose his own frames - to me, this seemed important. For the first
pair, we went to Site for Sore Eyes. He liked the glasses but they never
fit properly; they slid too far down on his nose, and the piece designed
to curve around his ear kept falling off. When his prescription
changed, at the suggestion of his fabulous ophthamologist, William Good,
we went to Rims and Goggles in SF. Their store out in Laurel Heights
has a great selection of kids frames - we went to the one downtown
though which had somewhat less of a selection but was still good. I kind
of wish I had asked them only to show him the ones in my price range bcs
we ended up spending more than I wanted to. But he LOVES his glasses.
He's told me that he hopes his eyes don't get better because he wants to
always wear them.
Kids look cute in glasses, and he gets lots of compliments on them. Yes,
he has gotten teased a little from peers, I think, but it hasn't seemed
to bother him. He is not the only one with glasses in his class, either.
Oh -- and I have to say -- one thing that probably helped was Harry
Potter. Harry is so cool, and he has glasses. If your child hasn't seen
the video, you might consider it. There's also an Arthur book about
Arthur getting glasses, too. But Harry, alas, was a really strong
influence. Good luck - I think it will go better than you expect. Also,
in case you are concerned about damage - kids' glasses are very well
constructed - he's never broken them.
My daughter (9) has been wearing glasses since 9 months old and my 13
year old just got reading glasses. My 13 year old son was excited to
get glasses and can't wait to get his braces and it's no wonder...they
are so much more cooler than when I was a kid!!!
My daughter has had many frames over the years and they have all been
sooooo cute. The latest pair are ''Princess'' glasses by Disney. They
have various colors and little decorations on the sides.
I just volunteered on picture day at my daughter's school helping groom
the children. I was amazed at how many wore glasses (quite proudly) and
how attractive the glasses are. My daughter has never come home saying
anyone has teased her about her glasses. My daughter was the one who
chose her frames also. We chose the price range and let her choose
which pair she liked so it gave her more responsiblity over the glasses.
I hope this is of help for you. Good luck and have fun looking at all
the great frames!!
My son started wearing glasses in kindergarten. He also had to wear an
eye patch periodically for amblyopia (lazy eye). He's never gotten much
teasing, but when he did he kind of shrugged it off saying ''I can wear
glasses and see, or I can not wear them and not be able to see...what
would you choose''? He's always had wire rim plain but fashionable
Now he's 14 and is trying contacts which he likes but doesn't like
putting in so we're not sure which way he'll go.
I doubt your daughter will be the only one wearing glasses in her
class...you and she can make it an exciting cool thing so that she feels
good and feels that she looks great in them, rather than setting her up
for the expectation that she might get teased which could put the idea
in her mind that glasses are not cool, OK, etc. Hope this helps.
My almost 5 year old has been wearing glasses for nine months. She is
now on her second pair. (Broke the first pair two weeks ago.) Both my
husband and I wear glasses, so she thought it was ''being grown up'' to
wear glasses. She's not in school but among her friends she's the only
one who wears glasses and after some initial questions as to why she
needs them, none of the children now comment on them. It's my sense
that there are many more children wearing glasses in school today
because vision problems are recognized earlier so having glasses isn't
unusual. As to your question about style, I like bright colored glasses
for myself but on my daughter the kid-style bright ones we found looked
a bit goofy or had cartoon character logos which might date quickly. We
settled happily on a dark blue titantium frame that is super
lightweight, comfortable, and seems difficult to destroy.
A couple of things I wanted to add about young children wearing glasses
- make sure the prescription is appropriate (not
''undercorrected'') and ask FOR WHAT OCCASIONS your child should wear
the glasses. Until a few years ago, optometrists assumed that
''undercorrecting'' would improve near-sightedness, but recent studies
have shown that this practice actually makes vision worse. Also, most
kids only need glasses for reading or seeing distances, not for every
task. Wearing glasses all the time can also make your eyesight worse.
The best thing to strengthen your kids' eye muscles is get them outside
(away from computers and
televisions) where they can see things at distances greater than 20
--4 eyes since 2nd grade
My seven year old is on her second pair of glasses since she got
them less than two months ago. Does anyone have suggestions on
places to get inexpensive glasses quickly for kids? We would
prefer to not go to the school of optometry for this.
Have you tried Costco? That's where I've bought my adult-sized
glasses that past 10(?) years. Not had a problem yet! They do
have children's sizes. Oh, and you may not need to be a member
to use - years ago I let my membership lapse a year or two and
did still use the optometry center without problems. You might
call to confirm if you're not a member.
Try Walmart! - very affordable
I missed your original post, but I would suggest Kaiser if you
are a member. They have a deal for the frames, UV coating, and
high impact lenses. I think it was around $100 (not sure
though). Plus a 1 year warranty.
My 3.5 year old was just diagnosed with amblyopia and farsightedness
and will be getting glasses in the next week or two. At this point, he
isn't very enthusiastic about the fact that he will have to wear them.
(I've been wearing glasses since I was three for the same problem.) I'm
looking for advice on getting him to wear the glasses, children's books
about kids wearing glasses (suited to a preschooler), and advice on how
to deal with any teasing that may arise. When I began wearing
glasses more than 30 years ago, and all through school, kids weren't
very nice to those who wore glasses. I'm hoping this attitude has
changed but just in case, I want to be prepared. Thanks in advance
for any advice on the above questions! Dylan
Too bad he's not older...my boys (7 and 5) are DYING for glasses - so they
can look like Harry Potter! They actually scour playgrounds for discarded
glasses, take them home and fix them up (as best they can) so they can wear
There was a NYTimes article on March 19th about treating amblyopia.
Thought it might be useful to you.
My daughter is now 4 and has been wearing glasses since she was 3. She was
diagnosed with accomodative strabismus due to farsightedness.
Wearing glasses has never been a problem for her since it improved her
vision. Here are my recommendations for whatever its worth... I found a
place with a great selection of glasses and allowed her to pick them. She
picked out a pair of pink frames with Mickey Mouse on them. She loves them.
She takes care of them and has never lost them (yet).
Two other things that I would recommend if you could afford it is the
polycarb lightweight lenses and wrap around temple frames (most glasses can
be retrofitted with these hooks that go around their ears). The polycarbs
are thinner and lighter which make them more comfortable and less
distracting when people look at your child (they don't have that coke-bottle
look to them). The wrap around temples keep the glasses on through most 3-4
year old play activities. My daughter is quite active and swings upside
down at school on the climbing bars and has never had problems with her
glasses. The only times she takes them off is for ballet (I'm not sure why
she does...) and for swimming.
Two places that I found that had a great selection of children's glasses
UC Berkeley Optometric Center on the UC campus
Arts & Science eyewear in Lafayette. Fred Weisner has been great with my
daughter and really takes the time to make the glasses fit well!
Good luck. Email me if you would like to discuss further.
P.S. I was not impressed with any of the childrens books written for kids
to address the issue of glasses primarily because they all start out from a
very negative slant to the whole idea of glasses. I never gave my daughter
the impression that wearing glasses was a negative event (it helps that both
her father and I wear glasses). The last thing I wanted was to read her a
book that told her that people thought that wearing glasses was negative. I
just told her that the glasses were 'medicine' or 'tool' for her weak eyes.
This gave her the words to use when other people including kids asked her
about her glasses.
P.P.S. There is a yahoogroup email list for people wishing to discuss
Amblyopia called LazyEye@yahoogroups.com.
My son will also be getting glasses for the first time, in May, at about 3.5
yrs for farsightedness. So far we have talked about it a little with him.
Fortunately, my husband is a big Harry Potter fan so my son has had
play/dress up/''Harry Potter'' glasses for the past year. Unfortunately,
they are play glasses and my son thinks nothing of ripping them off and
tying them in knots... so I don't know how well that bodes for the future.
My neice has been wearing glasses since she was about 1 yr. old to correct
her crossing eyes. My sister-in-law drew glasses onto all of the characters
in her favorite books so that they were ''getting glasses too''. They also
spent the weeks between ordering the glasses and the glasses ariving
emphasizing people who were wearing glasses so she could notice how normal
it was. For the first few months it was touch and go keeping the glasses on.
I think she lost a few pairs. They eventually bought a strap to keep the
glasses on her (the kind boaters use to keep their glasses on while sailing)
and that, and time seemed to help. Now she wears them happily.
Of course you and I will be dealing with older children. I am hoping that
means that we will have an easier time of it. I am told that usually older
children are so happy to be able to see clearly that they don't take the
glasses off as much.
As far as books go, I don't know of any specific ones that have a character
getting glasses. Arthur does wear glasses (he is also on TV on PBS) so those
at least have a character who is wearing them. (But now that I think about
it there may be a Berinstein Bear book where some one gets glasses... I
can't remember for sure.) I haven't looked too hard. We just had our second
child and I bought a whole bunch of ''_______ gets a baby brother/sister''
books and my son was totally uninterested in reading them. I think he was
feeling a little too pressured to enjoy the story.
As for future social/peer comments about wearing glasses, I can't really
comment about elementary or pre-school. I teach middle school and that is
not one of the popular slurs I hear thrown out, so it definitely isn't a
very big problem by that age. I do have a few students who have been
prescribed glasses and refuse to wear them in school because they think they
will look like nerds, so the mentality is still out there, I just think it
isn't as fun to call someone ''four eyes'' when you can be much meaner by
calling other names.
Good luck with your son and glasses. I am sure it will be fine. I got my
first glasses at around age 5 (I was supposed to have them at age 3,) and I
remember how exciting it was to finally be able to see. At that point I
could read and was taking piano lessons and it was amazing to be able to
read everything clearly all of a sudden.
Regarding the child who would be getting glasses for amblyopia, I can only
speak as someone who as a child had to wear glasses for amblyopia. I can't
recall how old I was at the time, I'm afraid, but I do remember that at
first I had glasses with a beige patch to go over the lens of the good eye
to strengthen the bad eye. For a while I wore those without a problem. But
then I got self-conscious about it and thought it looked ugly and refused to
wear it. I was then given a black pirate patch which I thought was very cool
and I wore that without complaining. Unfortunately, in the end I reached a
point where I refused to wear anything and my ambloyopia got worse. I
unfortunately wasn't forced to wear a patch at that point and my lazy eye
never got better. To this day I am very conscious of the fact that if
anything were to happen to my good eye, I would be in a very bad situation
as my bad eye is not very functional (I think it's technically legally
blind, in fact).
I'm about due for a new pair of glasses but dreading the
search for frames. I am petite and have trouble finding
frames that don't extend way beyond the edges of my face.
Is there a local optometrist with a good selection of
smaller frames? Or recommendations for a brand which runs
small? Should I be looking in the kids section? Tiny head
I share your tiny-faced pain. I usually have to buy kids'
glasses and sunglasses. The best selection of frames
(including small ones) I've found is at the UC School of
Optometry. I got some small cute frames there that were made
by a local designer. You can also try the kids' frames--they
don't all have cartoon characters on them. Small-faced
I'm a pinhead, too! The best small glasses I've found (mine
are a size 43) are made by a company called Ogi. I think
mine are technically kid frames, but they're very adult
looking, so don't worry about having Hanna Montana on the
side or something.
There's also a company out of Japan called Microframes, but
I've not had luck finding a pair I like. Happy Hunting!
Next Eyewear on College.
Melissa, who I think is the owner, is AMAZING at finding
just the right frames to fit your face and your style. I too
have a small face and am also extremely near-sighted, so
much so that my lenses cause extreme distortion to the sides
of my face. Melissa managed to find stylish glasses that
look great on me -- I've bought two pairs over the years --
so much so that I wear them constantly now (used to always
wear contact lenses).
Also, she and her assistant are very friendly and they'll
adjust your glasses for free anytime you stop by. Specs
Kid's frames might be a good option for you if your head
really is that much smaller than normal. Eye Care Optometry,
on Lakeshore in Oakland, has a nice selection, including
many styles that would be perfectly appealing to adults.
Note that many frames (not all) come is a variety of widths,
so ask the staff where you try frames on. They probably
display the most common sizes, but others are available.
have them measure your face and look up the availability of
those you might like to try. They will probably be willing
to order them for you to try on without obligation to buy.
I, too, have a small face, and for my first pair of glasses
(late 20's) did buy children's frames. But recently I did
find adult frames for a smaller face. The brand is Ted
Baker. In fact, the pair I bought were the very first pair
I tried (I then tried on 30 more pairs, but went back to the
Ted Baker). I found them at Leslie Handmacher's in Walnut
Square. There is also another optomotrist in Walnut Square
and that is where my sister (even smaller face!) found a
pair for herself (not sure of the brand). So those two
places might be worth a try... A grown-up with a child-size
I also have a petite face and have always struggled to find
glasses that fit well. Most adult frames are just way too
big and children's frames look like, well... children's
frames! The best brand that I have found for smaller faces
is Prada. They tend to be quite a bit smaller than other
brands and I've found them to fit really well. Of course,
being Prada they're not cheap. However they are really well
made and come in classic styles so they last a long time and
can handle multiple lens changes over the years as your
prescription changes. Sally
I have a tiny face, and it's a really frustrating process
when you look for glasses. So many cute frames, and none of
them fit. My favorite brands are Kate Spade, Prodesign,
modo, and Oliver Peoples. Kids frames rarely work, since
the earpieces frequently are too short and the styling is
blah. Look online as well, and thn you can pester your
optical shop to special order what you want. A fellow
Has anyone had success with anti-reflective coating on eye
glasses? This is the coating they put on your glasses so you do
not see the glare at night from on-coming cars and other things.
I always get my glasses at ''4 Eyes'' on Shattuck in Berkeley.
They are very nice and helpful but the coating always messes up
and then makes my glasses blurry. This happened in about 6
months. This has happened a few times. They made me a whole
new pair of glasses once. They said it does not happen to
everyone. I do have the problem of other cars' lights at night
and need something. I also heard of putting some kind of
ant-reflective snap on. 4 Eyes said they do not sell them.
I could go anywhere in Oakland, el Cerrito or Berkeley. Thanks
for the advice.
I have had anti-reflective coatings on my glasses for years. For
most of those I got it from UC Optometry and I have never had any
problem with the quality of any of their services/products. The
last few years I got the coating from Kensington Optometry. The
first time, the coating peeled off within a year. The person
there said it was from using hot water to clean my glasses!
(Didn't have that problem with UC Opt.) I'm trying again with new
lenses from Kensington Opt. It's only been a couple of months so
the verdict is still out.
Not all antireflection coatings are the same. Some are FAR
superior to others. It could be that the shop you use only uses an
inferior variety. To get a superior quality ARC (e.g.: Crizal
Alize) you should expect to pay $125+ for the coating only. A good
ARC will have a warrantee (usually 1 year) associated with it.
This is against manufacturing defects--not against problems that
you yourself may be causing.
Things that can make your ARC wear out faster (again, this will
happen much more readily with a cheaper ARC): wiping your glasses
with paper products (tissue, papertowel). Always wipe glasses with
a soft cloth after rinsing in water to remove anything that could
scratch the lenses. Using a cleaner with an abrasive. The best
cleaner (if you need one) is diluted dishwashing soap WITHOUT an
abrasive in it like ivory liquid. Other, more obscure things: some
AR coats stick to different plastics differently--so if you are
insisting on a particular type of plastic, you may be doing
yourself a disservice. Hairspray and other environmental chemicals
may be damaging your ARC. Finally, if you keep your glasses in a
hot, steamy environment (like the shower) it will be damaged much
I would recommend seeing George, who is the optician at the Tang
Eye Center (510-643-2020). Bring in your glasses to show him your
concerns--he may have recommendations for you. Full disclosure--I
work at the Tang Center, so I may be biased, but George is great.
Love my ARC
I get my glasses at UC OPtometry Clinic on campus. I always get
anti glare coating and have never had a problem.
My optometrist told me that the antireflective coating gets messed
up if you leave your glasses in the bathroom or other humid
environment. So if you, like most people, head into the bathroom
to shower or soak and leave your glasses on the counter, you are
contributing to the deterioration of the coating. I didn't get it
for that reason.
My last pair of glasses had the anti-reflective coating -- they
may have actually been from For Eyes, but I am not sure -- and
after less than two years, the coating got completely wavy and
irregular, making my vision very blurry. When I complained they
basically said, ''Yeah, that's how long it lasts, you should get
new glasses every two years anyway.'' I don't want to have to
throw away my glasses every two years, so I am no longer getting
the anti-reflective coating.
Better Reflections than Blurry!
I recently got my first pair of glasses, for distance. I began
wearing them just when driving, but now see (!) that they are
useful for seeing details in things that are just 5-10 feet away.
I do not need them for reading, though my eyes are able to adapt
to using them for reading, i.e. I can read fine with them on.
Now I have ''heard'' I shouldn't wear glasses unless I need
them...maybe it will make my vision deteriorate more quickly? For
my vanity, I don't feel I need to wear them all the time. But
putting them on and off throughout the day is not too handy either.
How do people manage with the glasses? Wear them all the time or
unclear about the concept!
It's hard to give you very specific advice without knowing more about your
prescription. It sounds like, from your description, that your Rx is pretty low. Here's
my 2cents. Wearing glasses makes your eyes weaker is an old wives tale. I could
give many examples as to why the myth persists--but here is the biggest reason.
Vision is a lot more than light hitting your eyes--your brain does a lot of post-
processing to enable you to interpret the image. As you wear glasses, your brain
gets a clearer image than prior to your having glasses at all--and now has
something to compare the blurry image to. So, it's not that your vision without the
glasses is getting worse--it's that you can now better tell how bad it is! So, my
advice is--put the glasses on your face, and just leave them there for convenience
sake. When you're at home (when you probably don't wear them) then take them off
and leave them off.
Try contact lens.
I got my first pair of glasses at age 28. I'm now 41. I'm too lazy to take them off when I
don't need them for far-seeing, so I wear them all the time. Plus, love having a new
accessory (I like wearing really unique, cool frames). In 13 years, my prescription has
barely changed so I'm not sure if you do harm wearing them all the time. My
optometrist has never told me not to wear them all the time, but maybe they just want
ensured business. I do get my eyes checked once a year and buy new frames when my
I wear them all the time. Once you realize how much better you
can see with them on, it seems like a real handicap not to have
them - at least, it does for me. Wearing them may make my
eyesight weaker, but squinting and eye strain as I try to focus
without them is definitely not good for my eyes either. I know
there are eye ''exercises'' you can do to strengthen your sight...
if you're worried about it, you can look into that.
I've been wearing glasses for distance since high school (about
19 yrs.) and my vision hasn't changed that much. However I did
develop an astigmatism in the last few years, though I'm not
sure if that's relevant or not. I wear them pretty much all
the time I'm awake except for the middle of the night when I
feed my baby. My vision's not that bad, but I prefer to see
clearly. Good luck!
I have been wearing glasses for years. I do switch between regular
glasses and prescription sunglasses. I carry a case that has the other
pair in it.
As for vanity, there is always a price to pay. For you it is your sight.
Some people have their glasses with them and when they need them
put them on.
Do what works for you.
Ask your eye doctor questions that you might have. Do some of your
own research and ask more questions.
In the meantime...happy seeing clearly!
Just call me fore-sighted
I had ''that birthday'' and now suddenly need reading
glasses! I only need .75, so the eye doc said I could get the
off-the-shelf ones at Longs, but they're all so boring. I'm not
ready to look like my grandma quite yet. Does anyone know
who carries more fasionable reading glasses w/out going
the $$$ prescription route?
I can't remember the name, but there is a store next to Sweet
Potatoes at 4th Street which sells nifty reading glasses. I'm
not sure what their prices are like, HOWEVER, for great
selection of fun glasses in the $20.00 range check out
http://www.peeperspecs.com/products/ They have TONS of styles
from sedate to FABULOUS! Check them out.
I just saw some this weekend! Though, the trick is... where? I
am almost positive it was at the gift/kitsch shop on College Ave
in Rockridge, between 63rd and Alcatraz. Unfortunately, I don't
know the same of the shop and I'm only about 98% sure that is
where I saw them. (If not there, try ''A Little Something'' on
College, on the north side of Alcatraz... I saw them in some
shop as I was walking from Rockridge to Elmwood). Good luck!
Sorry I cannot be more definite.
Scatterbrained, but sure I saw some... :)
I found some interesting ones at Elephant Pharmacy in
Berkeley on Shattuck.
Cool reading glasses are available at a little gift shop (I can't
remember the name!) on College Ave, just south of Alcatraz, next
to Noah's Bagels.
I'm still two years away from ''that birthday'' and have been
wearing reading glasses for about ten years, so don't feel bad!
I am writing to recommend you don't buy over the counter
readers, but watch for a sale at a chain like Site 4 Sore Eyes
or Four Eyes (in SF.) They have fantastic sales on single vision
lenses like you need and have fashionable frames - this is also
important to me. The main advantage is that readers crafted for
you by an optician will be customized to your eyes -
particularly to the distance between your pupils. It makes a big
hip four-eyed mama
The name of one shop on College Avenue that carries snazzy
reading glasses is Itsy-Bitsy. The glasses are on a stand on the
counter. I went in to buy a Bat Mitzvah gift, but have been
craving the glasses ever since. They're spectacl-ur! (Sorry)
Still wishing I'd bought them
this page was last updated: Feb 13, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network