Vancouver, October 1, 2008 – Kids say the darnedest things – especially when they get prescription eyeglasses and can see well for the first time.
In celebration of Eye Health Month, the B.C. Association of Optometrists has compiled a sampling of kids’ comments overheard in optometry offices around the province.
“Most of the time, the comments are heartwarming – a new world is opened to the child because they can see well,” says B.C. optometrist Dr. Elaine Kerr.
- “I never saw the stars in the sky before. I thought they were just in story books! But they are real and so cool!” – a six-year-old from the Courtenay/Comox area. Children do not know what they are supposed to see, so they take for granted that how they see is how others see. Often when they first get glasses they are amazed at the world that is opened up to them.
- “Dad! I didn’t know you had a beard!!” – an eight-year-old boy, after receiving bifocals. Apparently his Dad had grown a beard in the past few months and he had been completely unaware because although he could see objects at a distance well with his glasses, nearer objects appeared jumbled and blurred until he received his new bifocals. Some children actually need bifocals to help their near vision if their eye muscles or focusing mechanism is not working correctly.
- A little girl who put on her glasses and looked at her mom and exclaimed, “Mom! I can REALLY see your face now!” Kids are often farsighted, which means they see well at most distances, but things up close can be very hard to focus on. As a result, they may cope by leaving their eyes slightly blurred, without even realizing it until it’s corrected.
- A teenager confessed, “I didn’t realize I wasn’t seeing very well until I tried on my friend’s glasses!” Children's eyes are growing and changing, and just because they used to see well, doesn't mean they still do. They are very adaptable and will often not notice or comment on it until they see a comparison once their vision problems are corrected.
- “Look at all the pumpkins!” – a five-year-old girl on the drive home from the optometrist’s office with her mom. They had passed this same field every day on the way to school and she had never seen them before.
Dr. Kerr says the most painful comment of all, which she has heard too many times, is from the children who read the 20/20 line with one eye, then when she goes to cover the other eye say, “Oh, I don’t see out of that eye,” or “Don’t cover my good one please,” but they’ve never mentioned it to mom or dad because for them that was just “normal.”
Optometrists specialize in examining, diagnosing, treating, managing and preventing diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and related structures. It’s important children have a complete eye exam by six months, at three years, before entering school and regularly thereafter. For more information on eye health, or to locate an optometrist near you, visit www.whatcouldbemoreimportant.com.
For more information or an interview with a local optometrist, please contact:
Mahafrine Petigara media relations, 604.623.3007