How Do They Know They Need Glasses?

July 19, 2013

One of the most frequent questions I get asked about the girls oddly enough has little to do with their prematurity. When we are out and about, we usually get one of two comments/questions: “Wow they are tiny” or “How do they know they need glasses?”

Twins with glasses

I don’t know why it intrigues people so much but it seems to be a great “conversation starter.” I think for the most part it just comes from people not understanding how they actually get their eyes tested.

Now that the girls know their letters, their test is just like ours as adults. They are put in a chair and asked to read the letter chart. They also cover each eye to test each eye just like you and me.

When the girls were a little younger they were tested similarly except they didn’t use letters,  they used colors, which worked great for the girls. I am not saying this is an easy test because most of the time the girls aren’t very cooperative and since one of their eyes is worse than the other, when they have to do the cover portion of the test they get a little frustrated.

When the girls were first, tested they were only around one. In my opinion there is no real true way to test their eyes at this age but what their doctor did was took a lens and a little flashlight and just sort of watched their eyes to see how they reacted. This was the hardest test for me because the girls’ eyes are very sensitive to light especially Kendall’s since having ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) surgery as a baby. She would wiggle and jerk her head and eventually, I pretty much just had to hold her head still while he checked them out.

Twins in glasses
The girls just turned 4 and both wear glasses. Kendall has had hers pretty much since she came home (see above at age 1) and at first it was hard on us. We had no problem with her keeping them on, which we thought was going to be the hard part. We had a harder time keeping Brooke from pulling them off of her. Brooke got her glasses around age 3 and ever since she has had hers we haven’t had any issues with them keeping them on. They actually both do really well with their glasses.

I wanted to share this story to let everyone know that there is a way to check their eyes. I have a lazy eye and am legally blind in one eye so it was something we wanted to keep a close eye on. Since Kendall had ROP surgery when she was in the hospital, we were extra careful with her and had her checked twice as much, so don’t hesitate to get their eyes checked. You can do it and no matter how old they are there are ways to test and correct their vision.