Ophthalmologist Questions Glasses

Can a 3 year old child have glasses?

My daughter who is 3 years old has been complaining of a headache, and this especially happens when she's looking at a screen. The doctor said that she may need glasses, but I want a second opinion. Should my child have glasses? She's only 3.

13 Answers

If she needs eye glasses she should use it, otherwise she may get lazy eye and never develop complete vision. There are eye glasses made suitable with young children, make sure she like the frame and be comfortable in it.
I recommend her to come see a ophthalmologist for a second opinion because there may be an underlying issue.
Yes, 3 year olds may need glasses. It is crucial that they see clearly so the eye brain pathways can be well developed.
Your daughter should be examined by a pediatric ophthalmologist. She may need glasses but only get them if advised to by a pediatric ophthalmologist.
Absolutely! Many of them do.
Yes, they can be checked for glasses at any age. If the child has a large refractive error such as severe far-sightedness or astigmatism, then glasses can help.

Donald Schlomer
Yes, it is certainly possible that your three-year-old may need glasses, most commonly for hyperopia. She should see a pediatric ophthalmologist for evaluation. It's not common for a young child to complain of headaches, however -- if the eye exam is otherwise normal, you will probably be referred back to your pediatrician for further evaluation.
Yes, children even as young as one year old may require glasses to prevent Amblyopia, also known as Lazy Eye, in one or both eyes.

Depending upon the child, they may need to have lenses inserted into goggles to allow the glasses to stay in place.

These glasses are often needed to prevent eyes becoming “crossed” or “wall eyed”.

If you child is found to need glasses, confirm the diagnosis and treatment by having her visit a Pediatric Ophthalmologist if you have doubts about the first eye doctors opinion. But, don’t ignore the advice lest your child develops a lifelong reduction of vision.

Roger Ohanesian MD
Harvard Eye Associates
I would doubt the headache has anything to do with needing glasses. That said, the complaint warrants a complete eye exam with cycloplegic refraction, and that isn’t so easy or accurate in a 3 year old. Like similar complaints in older children, glasses, even if needed, probably will not cure the headaches.
Thanks for your question. If your eye doctor found a glasses prescription in your child and advised that they wear it, most likely she needs it. Please seek a second opinion with another eye doctor, if you are not sure. Please consider seeing a pediatric ophthalmologist as well.
Yes, if the examination shows a need.
She should be seen by a pediatric ophthalmologist who can check to see if she needs glasses. This is important, because if she does need glasses and does not receive them before 7 years of age, she may have amblyopia, which means she will never be able to see 20/20 for the rest of her life!!! A child's visual pathways of the brain are forming (especially in the first seven years of life), and if the image that the brain receives is not clear (because the child needs glasses), then the brain cannot process the image as perfectly as it would in a child with 20/20 vision.