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Eyes - wearing glasses

glasses; spectacles; eyesight; eye; short; sighted; contact; lens; teasing; vision; long; ;


Some kids can need to wear glasses because they can't see things that are close to them clearly, or things that are a long way away look fuzzy. Have a look at the topic Eyes - when things look fuzzy to find out about some of the reasons kids may wear glasses.

What about wearing glasses?

Sometimes you may have trouble seeing clearly and an optician or an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) may suggest that you get some glasses (spectacles) to wear.

It can be so good to be able to see clearly.


Some children don't like wearing glasses and they 'forget' to put them on or 'forget' to take them to School. Some children hate the thought of wearing glasses.

They think that people will tease them, they won't be able to play sports, boys/girls won't like them, they'll look ugly and a whole heap of other things.

Lots of children do wear glasses and they have gone through those feelings and worked out that when they wear their glasses they can see so much better that it really is worthwhile.

Here are some of the good things children have said about wearing glasses.

  • "I couldn't see the board until I got my glasses."
  • "Without glasses the words all jump about the page. With glasses they don't."
  • "I got glasses before I started school. Everything was fuzzy before that."
  • "I had an accident; glasses are making my eye better."
  • "My eyes used to water and sting and I had to squint my eyes almost shut to read. Glasses help me see clearly and they make the letters bigger and taller and clearer."
  • "All the people in my family have had to wear glasses around the same age because of our genes."
  • "I wear glasses now but I hope that I'll get contact lenses when I'm older."

If you do need glasses ask mum or dad if you can choose a frame style that you like.

Remember that no one can help you see better if you don't tell anybody that you can't see clearly.

Tips for kids who are starting to wear glasses!

Here are some tips for people who are just starting to wear glasses - these came from children who wear them. Have you any tips you can give to other children?

  • If you wear glasses it's a good idea to always put them in a special place so that you can always find them.
  • Keep them safe from younger kids and pets.
  • Carry a glasses case so that you can protect them from being damaged. Once I put my glasses somewhere in the car and the next thing I knew the frame was stepped on and one of the lenses was out." Jena, age 12
  • "Ignore other people's teasing." Kane age 9
  • Clean your glasses every day.
  • "I lost my glasses under the covers of my bed and I couldn't find them." Dana, age 6
  • "Have a special place for your glasses. Never put them on the ground, or in your pocket." Adam, age 10.
  • "When I was young I had to wear glasses. I thought people would call me four eyes but they didn't. I thought I looked stupid in them but Mum and Dad said I looked cute. My friends love my glasses and they want to try them on. Don't worry about wearing glasses." Caia, age7.

What do you think of their ideas?


teasingUnfortunately there are always some people who get fun out of teasing others.

Maybe they think teasing makes them look good or important or clever? Who knows?

It's a very unkind thing to do and it can make the person being teased feel very sad.

What you can do

You could try talking to people who tease.

  • Tell them that they are being unkind.
  • Say things like:
    "I don't like it when you ……"
    "You hurt my feelings when…."
  • Tell them why you wear glasses.
  • Tell them that one in six senior primary school children wear glasses. Three out of ten secondary students wear glasses.
  • Some children who should wear glasses don't and then they have all kinds of problems, like not being able to see when dangerous things come too near, or not being able to play sport.
  • Say that you prefer to wear glasses because they help you to see well.
  • Lots of famous people wear glasses or contact lenses.

Make sure that other people hear you when you say these things because most people are kind and they will support you.

You may not need glasses for very long, or maybe you could wear contact lenses when you grow up.

What some children say about being teased.

  • "My friends were supportive, the boys teased me but I just ignored them and they stopped."
  • "When I first got my glasses I thought everyone was looking at me, but they weren't really."
  • "I got good comments on how they looked on me from my family, teacher and friends."
  • "People called me names at first. Then I found out I had to get braces on my teeth too, so Dad drew a picture of me on the white board with braces on my eyes and glasses on my teeth."
  • "My brother teased me but I told Mum and Dad and they had a talk with him".
  • "Everyone at school said I looked better with my glasses."

Other things that may help

  • glassesSometimes changing places in the class can help. Move closer to the front of the class.
  • Sometimes using different coloured chalk or markers makes it easier to read the board. (But remember that some people are colour blind and this can make it harder for them to see the words.)
  • Closing curtains or blinds to reduce sun glare might help.
  • Changing the brightness or background colour on your computer screen can be helpful too.
  • Spending less time focussing on a computer screen or your phone screen. Look up often to focus on things that are a long way away, and get outside often too.
  • Being outside and focussing on things that are further away relaxes muscles in your eyes so that they can work better when you have to focus on things that are close again.


Here are some poems that children wrote about wearing glasses.

Some people wear glasses
Some people don't
Some people should do,
Some people won't
Some people look different
Some people look cool
So if you get teased
Don't think you're the fool.
Glasses help your eyes to see.
They can help you
If they can help me.

Glasses round, glasses old.
Glasses pink, glasses gold.
You need to wear them
Or, it would be a problem.
So, you either hate 'em
Or you love 'em.

Mia and Elise

I wear glasses ,
Thin and gold.
I look good in them,
So I've been told.

I wear them by day,
But not at night,
No one has teased me,
So, I don't have to fight.

I need them to see,
And not to hear,
They have a bit
Behind each ear.

The end of my tale,
I hope you enjoyed.
Glasses are something
You shouldn't avoid.

By Ailish

Historical Notes

Many of you wanted to know who invented glasses. It's a very long story but here is some of the information we have found about who started to make them and use them in Europe and USA.

60AD The Roman Emperor Nero used an emerald as a lens to help him see better. (Everything must have looked green!)
1285  Spectacles had been invented according to manuscripts written in 1305.
1313 Brother Alexander Della Spina made spectacles at the monastery of St Catherine in Pisa, Italy.
1380 Spectacles were mentioned in 'The Canterbury Tales', a story written by Chaucer.
1420 Gold frames with crystal lenses. (Rich folks only!)
1495 Henry VIII had a helmet made with lenses built in (so he could see who he was fighting!)
1700 First English factory for making optical glass (used to make lenses)
1738 Benjamin Franklin sells spectacles.
1784 Benjamin Franklin is wearing bifocals. As well as being a scientist he was a great writer and a great statesman - truly a man of vision!

These are just a few memorable dates in the history of spectacles.


  • Glasses can be single focal, bi-focal (two different kinds of lens in one) tri-focal (three kinds) or multifocal (many different levels of focus in one piece of glass or plastic).
  • There are glasses which go darker in sunlight so that you don't have to change into sunglasses when you go outside.
  • There are glasses which you can wear for sport, which are strong, lightweight and flexible (bendy).
  • You could have contact lenses, which can help you see without wearing glasses.
  • There are lots of frames, some designed by famous fashion designers, so that you have plenty of choices to find exactly what you want. But some of these are very expensive and your parents might not be happy if you choose them.
  • Some people have special coloured glasses that might help them with their reading if they have a reading problem called dyslexia.
  • Laser surgery which can reshape the cornea of people who are short-sighted or have some other problems, can help some people see clearly again. It does not work for everyone and is expensive. It is only done on adults.

Dr Kate says:

Dr Kate
Look after your eyes. Have them checked if you have any problems and see your doctor if they feel sore.

Any of us might need to wear glasses at some time in our lives. They help us to get a clear picture of our world. And of course we wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from the sun. 

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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