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Any optometrists about? Have questions about my DD's prescription

11 replies

CarrotPuff · 19/09/2020 19:26

Got my DD's eyes checked for the first time today. She can't see well at distance - could only see about halfway down the chart. She also kept leaning forward when the optometrist was holding a book.

However, when we got home and I looked at her prescription, it says +3.5 in both eyes? Surely that's for longsightedness?? What is more confusing is that it's written on the line for "distance", rather than "near".

I've attached a pic of the actual prescription.

Any optometrists about? Have questions about my DD's prescription
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bitmynailbrokemytooth · 19/09/2020 19:30

If longsightedness is more than about +1.00 to +1.50 it will affect the distance vision too.

It is possible to accommodate to overcome the longsightedness by using your internal eye muscles to change the focus of your own eye by bending your internal eye lens but this can give you eye strain and headaches and blurred vision.

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bitmynailbrokemytooth · 19/09/2020 19:34

Did the optometrist say when she should wear the specs ?

It is written in the distance part to distinguish it from a prescription which is solely for reading which tends to happen when you are over 40 and have presbyopia.

I would prescribe this for all concentrated tasks, reading, computer screen, school board and class work, maybe watching TV. If the child is very young maybe full time to develop the best vision. There's an element of astigmatism here too.

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CarrotPuff · 19/09/2020 19:36

Ok, thanks, I didn't realise that. It's very confusing as she moves closer to objects rather than away from them so I assumed short-sightedness as this is what I had.

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CarrotPuff · 19/09/2020 19:37

She said she has to wear them full time.

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CarrotPuff · 19/09/2020 19:40

Also, is it the optometrist that decides which prescription they need or is it measured by one of those machines that they look into?

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bitmynailbrokemytooth · 19/09/2020 19:40

Yeah she is definitely long sighted but it's confusing because it affects the distance vision too. Plus prescription is for long sightedness, without the specs she will still see better in the distance than close up but needs for both.

This prescription will definitely help her and make a difference.

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bitmynailbrokemytooth · 19/09/2020 19:44

I don't have the machine ( auto refractor I think you mean), so I use a technique called retinoscopy to determine the prescription. I use a hand held gadget from about two thirds of a metre away which shines a light at the eyes. If the child is under about 6 years old I may need to put eyedrops in to relax those focussing eye muscles to get an accurate result for the prescription.

On an older child I can ask simple questions and show some different lens options to refine the result, much like I do with an adult.

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bitmynailbrokemytooth · 19/09/2020 19:48

She moves closer to objects despite being long sighted to get a bigger image on the retina. A bit like magnifying it, plus she has active eye muscles being young so that will stimulate those to kick in the focussing. That can only do so much though and that's why she struggles to see clearly both distance and near.

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CarrotPuff · 19/09/2020 20:01

Yes, this is what they did, the light shining and everything.

Thank you so much for taking time to reply, this was very helpful!

Is longsightedness more likely to correct itself with glasses than short-sightedness?

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CarrotPuff · 19/09/2020 20:12

One last question.

You mentioned eye muscles - can poor eye sight cause squint? One of her eyes turns a bit inwards, but not all the time. Is it because she's trying hard to focus, and once it's corrected with glasses the squint will go away?

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bitmynailbrokemytooth · 20/09/2020 20:44

Yes the uncorrected long sight will stimulate the muscles which focus the eye lens (accommodation) which in turn will stimulate the muscles which pull the eyes closer together, as their actions are linked. This causes an eye to turn in and binocular vision can break down. This should be corrected by the glasses, if it is a fully-accommodative squint.

Sometimes it is partially accommodative, which means there is some squint left over and the eye still turns in even when wearing the glasses, in which case there may be some further measures needed, such as possibly some eye exercises or patching of one eye to stimulate the vision in the eye which turns in, to avoid a condition called amblyopia with reduced vision in the turning-in eye, (sometimes called lazy eye).

If necessary your daughter could be referred to an ophthalmologist ( eye specialist) or orthoptist ( specialist in squints, keeping eyes straight) to help this process along, especially if the optometrist is not able to do this regime. Most of us aren't, as it is quite specialised and we don't see enough cases in everyday practice.


Long sight or short sight rarely goes away even when corrected, that's a bit of an urban myth I'm afraid. However she may need her glasses less as she gets older, such as maybe wearing them for concentrated tasks only when she grows up. It's hard to say, each case varies, and it depends how the prescription changes as she grows. You are right in thinking this is more likely with long sight than short sight, the latter gets worse as the eye grows larger, so much more likely to worsen as they grow up. There is the option of contact lenses, which can be fitted to a well-motivated child from age 9-10.

Keep taking your daughter to her regular eye tests when they send for her and follow your optometrist's advice and all will be well.

You are welcome, no problem, your post caught me after a busy day (and week) at work and I was still on duty !

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