Where to Get Prescription Eyeglasses

Parent Q&A

Need Progressive Lenses - Any Advice? Aug 10, 2020 (2 responses below)
Glasses at Costco? Jul 31, 2020 (13 responses below)
Places to get a pair of glasses and contact lenses quickly Aug 8, 2016 (7 responses below)
  • Need Progressive Lenses - Any Advice?

    (2 replies)

    Thanks to this group, I have an eye exam set for this week. I've been reading online about the different kinds of lens materials and brands, and the choices are really overwhelming. I'm a professional photographer, so my vision is critical. That said, I'm also unemployed due to COVID, so cost is something I need to be mindful of. Is there one brand or lens material that produces the best results? (I'm guessing higher quality means better vision?) Or is it more about the accuracy of the Rx or the measurements they take of my face/eyes?  Any recommendations on what to look for/or avoid, or what not to skimp on are appreciated.

    Hello! Optometrist here. There are many, many progressive designs and which one works for you will depend on a lot of things like what is your prescription? What size frame do you want? Measurements and adjustments are critical. The higher your prescription, the more precise the measurements have to be. They sell on-line progressives--but honestly, I have a hard time believing that they can possibly produce the best vision due to the lack of measurements or advice or design. They literally use one kind of plastic and one type of progressive. BUT, they usually have great return policies--so you can check on that and give it a try without risk if the return policies are forgiving. You have the best chance of this working if your prescription is low--and hey, lots of people must think it's OK or they wouldn't offer them anymore.  Next cheapest will be Costco where you can have measurements taken and glasses adjusted. But, Costco has a small list of lenses that they will use--the cheaper ones. Then, probably next would be UC Berkeley. You will get top notch advice, design. Let them know that you are very cost conscious and they will give you honest advice. Lenscrafters may be the same as a private practice--hard to say. Glasses are custom designed for prescription, fit, face, measurements, etc.--so what works for one person may or may not work for another. Clarity of vision is one measure--but make sure you pay attention to eye fatigue and headaches too. Poorly fit/designed progressives can do that as well. Happy hunting! 

    I just got an eye exam and had them write down my prescription and measure for my pupilary distance. Then I ordered a pair of glasses online made to fit my exact prescription. I did this through Zenni.com and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised! The online glasses are 1/3rd the cost of buying them at a brick and mortar store and they look and work great! 

  • Glasses at Costco?

    (13 replies)

    Hi everyone,  I'm hoping that someone can advise me on this.   I've already used up my lense allotment in my eyecare insurance for the year but need to get a new pair of everyday glasses.   I have an astigmatism and need progressives.  Has anyone gotten lenses from Costco that need to be precise?   What was your experience?    I've gotten computer glasses there but they are basically bi-focals, never progressives.   If I go to my usual optometrist, the lenses will cost close to $500. and I just can't afford that.   

    thank you! 

    RE: Glasses at Costco? ()

    My husband has bad eyes and a tricky prescription.  He's gotten his glasses from Costco twice and has been very happy with the results.

    RE: Glasses at Costco? ()

    Jins optical can set you up with progressive & astigmatism for under $300. I get mine there, and they make it easy (but you need to come with prescription in hand). The store in SF near Union Square is currently open.

    RE: Glasses at Costco? ()

    My husband, who has an astigmatism and needs strong corrections, purchased progressive lenses from Costco in Richmond last December. He has been very pleased with their fit and performance.

  • My daughter will have the exam at the UC Eye Center, but she'll be heading off to college too quickly to wait for them to make the glasses. (It was hard to get her an appointment in the first place!) So we are looking for suggestions for places that she can get the glasses/lenses within a week or week and a half.

    Try West County Optometry located next to the El Cerrito Del Norte BART station. We've used them twice, and the glasses were ready very quickly.

    The UC Eye Clinic can mail them to her.  I think they do a good job.  I went to Site for Sore Eyes to get a quick job done but then there were complications and it wasn't as quick as they said it would be.  I have progressives so I really need to be careful about where I get my lenses done but if your daughter has a regular straight lens without those kinds of adjustments, it would probably be OK at one of these quick places......

    Buy from zennioptical.com or eyebuydirect.com and have the glasses shipped to her at college.  I've been a happy mail order glasses purchaser for a decade!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Kids' Glasses Adults' Glasses

Kids' Glasses

Durablebut afforable eyeglasses for kids

June 2011

Hi All I am looking for some recommendations for a place where i can get durable and yet affordable eye glasses for my kid in south bay. my kid seems to break his glasses very often and it seems t cause us a lot inspite of getting insurance for his glasses. So just wondering if you know of any brand or type of glasses that i can order and also an place that carries them. i live in the santa clara county so will greatly appreciate any reco for a south bay store. thanks much S

I must admit, I am a former glasses snob, but after years of stressing over broken, lost, or falling apart frames that were over $600, my very practical husband successfully talked me into: http://www.39dollarglasses.com/ I now have several pair that I keep in various places, and I even bought some prescription sunglasses; all are stylish, and not one pair was more than $65, and several were half that. Life with glasses is much simpler this way. I'm converted. Beryle

Best selection of eyeglasses for kids?

Jan 2011

My 10-year-old needs glasses. We took him to the UCB clinic and have a prescription already, so we don't need an optometrist to do an exam; we just need to buy the glasses. Looking for a kid-friendly storefront optician with a good selection of colorful frames and reasonable prices, ideally in the El Cerrito-Albany-North Berkeley zone. Thanks for any recs! Holly

It has been a few years since we have been to the practice... Dr Miller and Stolaryzk at El Cerrito Plaza had some very nice and reasonably priced frames for my kids Bobbie Jo

UC Optometry. Great selection. You don;t need to get an eye exam to buy glasses.

Best Selection of Kids Glasses

Sept 2010

My 4 year old, who has been wearing glasses for almost 2 years, could use a new pair of frames. He currently wears Miraflex frames which are awesome (unbreakable). But now that he's getting older I'd like to venture into different frames. Can anyone suggest a place that has a large selection of kids frames to try on? Most places tend to have a handful to choose from. Thank you!

UC Eye Clinic (on campus) has a great selection of frames for kids (and adults). Parent of a kid with glasses

My 4.5 year old daughter has also worn glasses for about two years, and we've had good luck with El Cerrito Optometry. We never went the Miraflex route and we've definitely had to replace a few glasses, but now that my daughter is older she does take better care of them. I've found that El Cerrito Optometry has a pretty large selection of children's glasses, and decent price ranges, and they are very friendly and helpful there. Ask for Gary - he seems to be great at fitting glasses for kids, finding selections based on your preferences, and making good suggestions. Even though the glasses we've had aren't as 'unbreakable' as the Miraflex ones are supposed to be, they do often have good features like flexible bridges and flexible hinges on the arms. Good luck. Karen

UC Berkeley Optomotry Clinic has a ton of kids' glasses including specialty glasses for sports and things like that.

Any way to stop my child's eyesight from worsening?

Sept 2009

My daughter is 8-- started wearing glasses at 7 and has had two prescription changes already. I also began wearing glasses at 7 and have terrible eyesight. Is there anything to be done to slow this down, or is it inevitable? Exercises? We are both big readers. Is that a factor? Thanks. Bottlecap Glasses

Hi: Know young people in Los Angeles w/ ''cokebottle'' glasses and they got night contacts to they could play sports. You wear the contacts only at night and wear nothng during the day. These specially designed night contacts shape/correct your eyes while you sleep. Experience immediate results. After one night, patient will have 20/20 vision. However, contacts must be worn every night. Over the years, it is possible that night contacts may help stop worsening but will not be weaned from wearing the night contacts. Night contacts are very popular in Los Angeles, but this technology is not all that popular in the Bay Area, for reasons I cannot fathom. A well trained optomotrist will be able to fit your daughter. About $1500 and insurance will not cover. Not cheap, but well worth the money and to be free from wearing glasses! Hope this helps. - Elaine

My eyesight went seriously downhill between ages 6 (when my vision was 20/50) and 10 (when it hit 20/400). At that time, my optometrist recommended gas-permeable contact lenses, saying that they act like braces for the corneas and keep their shape from changing any further. This worked... my vision stabilized, and 25 years later it is only marginally worse. I have been wearing gas-permeable lenses ever since. I lost and broke more lenses in the first five years than in the following 20, so age/responsibility is definitely a consideration, but overall it has worked well. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions. Jennifer

You should take your daughter to University of California Berkeley School of Optometry (http://www.caleyecare.org/). My daughter is doing anti-myopia technique that works in theory in children/teens. She was prescribed *bifocal* contact lenses because preliminary research has shown this to slow myopia progression significantly. They can tell you more about it and if it is right for your child. We don't know if it will work, but it doesn't cause any harm and my daughter quickly grew accustomed to vision through bifocals contact lenses. I have been very happy with the care she has been getting at the UCB Eye Care Clinic too. Worth a try! Carrie

Looking for ''cool'' flexible kids glasses

Oct 2009

My son who just turned 3 has been wearing glasses for the last 6 months. We originally purchased Miraflex glasses and they have been great. He adjust to wearing them just fine, so they must be comfortable, etc. These glasses are pretty indestructible but big and clunky (although pretty cute). Now that he is used to wearing glasses I'd like to find him some ''cooler'' frames but they must be durable. I've seen flexible glasses on-line but haven't found a store with a large selection. Can anyone recommend a glasses store with a large selection of kid frames? Mom with kid in glasses

Hi - My son has worn glasses since he was 1 (he's now 5) so we've tried several. We loved the miraflex glasses until he was 3 and we wanted something more grown up. I have found a great selection both at UC Berkeley Eye Clinic and at Dr. Moonsamy's optometry center on Lakeshore. A few things of note - My kid is hard on glasses but flexibility is not as important for us as having the wire ear pieces (you know, that go around the back of the ear). These keep the glasses on really well and are comfortable. You may not know this, but any pair of glasses can be fitted with them. Good luck! Anon

Try Montclair Optical in Montclair Village, Thornhill exit of highway 13. My daughter has two pairs of glasses from them. The first are regular pink frames, very flexible and very light weight. The opthamologist loved them. The second are also flexible and light weight, and she got to play with these lego/plastic pieces, putting together some different colors to see how they would look together. She ended up with green sides and a blue nose bridge, they are very cute. I think both are Swissflex. - good glasses are important

Glasses for 1.5yo

June 2009

Our 1.5yo daughter was prescribed glasses, and she hates them. She needs to wear them all the time, but she will only agree a few minutes a day, on a very very good day. Does anyone out there have similar experience/advice suggestions?

It seems that part of her problem is that she does not like to have anything on her head at all. She pushes the glasses off, and if we put them back on she resists or cries. Wanting To Help My Daughter

Getting an 18 month old to wear glasses is HARD!! They are too young to bribe and too old to just accept it. But, having said that, you can do it!!! The trick is that the parents have to be 100% consistent and buy in 100% to the fact that the child must wear the glasses.

Now, there are very few things that kids need glasses for at 18 months, so I'm going to guess that your child is at risk for developing amblyopia or lazy eye. There is a small window in which to prevent this. When kids are born, their eye-brain connections are not fully formed--those connections happen in the first few years of life. When your child is not wearing their glasses, those connections are not being made for one or both of their eyes. It is serious business.

I suggest this: 1) try sneaking the glasses on the child before they wake up. 2) EVERYTHING stops when the glasses come off. There is no fun, there is no food. You do so very calmly. If play is happening, look down, take toy away, and child gets put in the pack and play. when the glasses go back on, they get lots of oohing and aahing, and they get to come out and resume play. When they are eating, if glasses come off, food gets quietly taken away, parents become quiet, look down, and nothing resumes until glasses are allowed to be put back on. The glasses have to be the number one priority for a while until your child accepts them, and trust me, they will. The child may not be able to notice right now that they see better out of the glasses because their eyes are behind, but they will, when those connections start to be formed.

If YOU are at all uncertain if the glasses are necessary or correct, then you MUST get a second opinion. In order for this plan to work, you have to be 100% on board, so if you need a second opinion to get that peace of mind that your efforts are not unfounded, then do it!! I highly recommend you go to a pediatric optometrist for this opinion. UC Berkeley School of Optometry is who I trust with my kids eyes because I have a history of this and didn't want my kids to have problems too. you can do it!

Our 4-year-old son started wearing glasses at about 20 months, so he was a bit older, but we had the same problem. It took several months to get to the point where he left his glasses on most of the day without fuss. Here's what worked for us: We'd put the glasses on, and when he took them off we would simply replace them on his face -- no discussion, no reprimands, just put them back on -- sometimes as often as 20 or 30 times. His protests became less and less frequent, and within about 3 months ended altogether. It takes a LOT of patience and consistency, but eventually your child will get used to them.

Another thing that helped was to fit his glasses with an elastic strap around the back of his head. It helped to keep them from falling off, and made it harder for him to take them off by himself. You can find these at most optical shops that carry a large selection of children's frames. Good luck! JW

My daughter has been wearing glasses since she was 15 months. She was very fearful of the glasses at first. She had a huge screaming fit in the optometry clinic when we picked them up. It was a nightmare.

The first thing I would suggest is for you to get some glasses, even if they are just frames with clear lenses or, if you wear contacts, wear your actual glasses instead for a while. Have both parents and siblings wear glasses too if there are any. If everyone wears glasses she might want to too. The other thing I did was to put her glasses on a stuffed animal and talk about how cute they were and give the animal hugs, etc. She totally loved that. When she finally decided to wear them I'd tell her how cute she was and give her hugs, etc. just like the stuffed animal.

I think she finally realized that she could actually see better with the glasses when she stopped having a fit about wearing them. Now she is 3yrs old and happily wears them all the time. We never have trouble with her taking them off. She asks for them if we forget to get them first thing in the morning. If you end up needing to patch, post again and I'll tell you what worked for us. Good luck! anon

Hi, My daughter has been wearing glasses since whe was about the the same age as yours. She also never likes having things on her head, although I must admit she surprised me by taking fairly well to her glasses (until recently, that is. She's 3.5, and I spend a good deal of time looking around the house to see wear she has left them I think maybe her vision was bad enough that she actually appreciated them

I don't know what kind of frames you have, for her, but perhaps thay are not comfortable enough? We LOVE ours, they are Miraflex, and can be purchases at the UCB School of Optometry. They staock a few, but can order a huge variety of colors. They are are flexible ad have an attractive built in elastic band. The flexibility makes them safer to wear, and much more dmage resistant.

Maybe if she helps pick the color, she will be more agreeable? Aside from that, I would suggest lots of positive reinforcement, ie: Great job, you wore your glasses for the whole (meal, show, game, story fill in your own), etc. Good luck! Mom of a spectacled sprite

First grader needs glasses for reading

March 2009

Our first grade daughter may need glasses for reading. If this comes to pass, I foresee lots of lost glasses. What do parents of kids who wear glasses part time do to prevent this? My daughter is not particularly forgetful or careless, but she DOES sometimes lose/misplace things that she takes back and forth to school. Can anyone recommend an occulist who is inexpensive but does the job right? Is there insurance for replacing lost glasses? Thanks very much in advance for any advice on this topic. Francesca

My daughter got glasses at that age too, and now is in 4th grade. She has not yet lost a pair of glasses - although some have gone walkabout for a few weeks at a time. What I recommend is getting a spare pair. There's an online site called Zenni Optical that I've used, and gotten $19 glasses for her. They even have some $9 ones! You can get sunglass clip-ons for another $4. What you need is the prescription, plus the pupil-to-pupil measurement. The details are on the site. That eye-distance measurement is not typically on the prescription for some reason, but the eye doctor has it and can/will provide it if you ask. You also need to know the lens width that fits her face (e.g. 43mm). All easily available at the eye doctor's. I lose things myself sometimes - including glasses, and since my daughter is generally a careful kid I don't make a big deal if the glasses go missing - it's human, after all, to lose stuff sometimes. Having that cheap extra pair helps keep it in perspective. Two people, eight eyes

I now buy my glasses from http://www.eyebuydirect.com/ My last order was 2 pairs for $25 delivered. Perfect lenses and only small frame adjustments needed. cheap good vision

8-year-old son keeps losing his glasses

Nov 2006

My son is 8 years old and has had to wear glasses since the end of last school year. He is on his second pair which I now fear may be missing. I am at my wits end. He is supposed to wear them at all times but he keeps taking them off because the prongs that sit on the bridge of his nose hurt him. It is then that he forgets them and cannot recall where he had them last. His glasses are expensive. I'm not talking designer frames and such, they're just expensive. We grounded him before-- no tv, no video games and lots of chores, but I don't think it was very effective. Can anyone recommend an alternative to glasses or some method to keep an 8 year-old boy from forgetting? mary

Have you tried a cool pair of ''croakies'', the sporty strap that holds glasses around your neck if they fall off? (REI etc carry them) Or you could start a trend with librarians' beaded straps? I'd lose mine too...

Our 9-year old daughter has worn glasses since 18mos. She used to wear the kind with the nose prongs, but her last two pairs have been all-plastic frames (we replace them as she outgrows them). She says they're more comfortable. Also, you can get a sporty glasses strap to attach to the ear pieces, so that if he takes them off, he can leave them around his neck. We get them from an optical shop that offers a warrantee to replace the lenses up to two times per year for a minimal fee, which is nice, since her glasses get so scratched up. Also found that we can get prescription swim goggles, which is great since she sees double without the glasses. Marina

Why not try Croakies kids eyewear retainers? www.croakies.com They come in solids and prints and are a great way for kids to play and go to schoool without losing their glasses. I think you can get them at R.E.I Anon

7-month-old needs glasses?

Jan 2006

I have noticed that my 7 month old son very rarely will go cross-eyed for a second before straightening out his eyes. My pediatrician recommended seeing an opthamologist. We saw an opthamologist last week, and he diagnosed that my son has a +4 far-sightedness, and should get glasses. I asked him what would cause this, and was told purely genetics. My husband and I both have 20/20 vision, and all of our parents got glasses in their 40's, which makes me question the genetics of it. It seems that if I had never noticed that my son had these brief moments of cross-eyes, that this would have never been diagnosed, and therefore, never treated. Has anyone had to put their babies in glasses? If so, for what reason and how did you know there was a problem to even get it diagnosed. I would love to talk to another parent who has had to deal with glasses in an infant.

I would take your child to the Infant-Toddler Clinic at UC Berkeley. Drs. Deborah Orel-Bixler & Sarah Fisher are both incredible with babies and have many years of specialized experience with your child's type of issues. They can explain the eye-development process in babies and answer your questions. You can call 642-2020 for an appointment. Barbara

Just wanted to add my $0.02. I'm an O.D., but not a peds specialist. With that said, I don't think you should get too worked up about the genetics of the refractive error, i.e. farsightedness. 3 diopters of refractive error is roughly equal to 1mm of axial length, i.e. the length of the eyeball from cornea to the retina. So, in the fastly developing 7 month old, a 1.33mm mismatch (and I'm assuming some things here) between the corneal curvature and the axial length is not that tremendous. I don't mean to make light of your situation, please know that I share in your concern. Be glad it was caught and good for you for bringing it to your peds attention. The American Optometric Association recommends an eye exam for infants before their 1st birthday. Check out their InfantSee program. I'm sorry I can't add anything about babies in glasses. From my schooling they seem to do well with headstrap non-breakable one-piece frames, like the Como Baby (if that's still made that is). Not a peds OD but a new mom

I am far sighted. I got glasses when I was five, but I should have begun wearing them when I was three. Because my vision was not corrected at the appropriate time I began to develop a ''lazy eye'' where one of my eyes turned in (and off) while focusing with the other eye which was stronger. Fortunately in correcting my vision through a series of glasses my eyes were able to be retrained to work together.

We were fortunate when my oldest son was born to be solicited to be part of a longitudinal study at the UC Optometry School that focused on how the eye grows and changes in children. He was seen by the study from the age of 3 months until he was 6. Through his participation I learned that all babies are born farsighted. As they grow older their eyes grow and by around age three the majority have ''normal'' vision. I also learned that children should all have an eye exam at around one year of age to make sure that everything is going well. Finally, crossed eyes or an eye turning in can be caused by various circumstances. Sometimes eyeglasses are enough to fix the problem but in others children will need to wear an eye patch or through surgury. Usually they try less invasive measures (glasses) first and work up.

At his three y.o. screening in the study we were told it was time for him to get glasses... basically he was still just as farsighted as ever. We went to the Infant/Toddler Clinic at the UC School of Optometry where he was evaluated and they wrote his prescription. At that appointment the professor stressed that it was very good that his vision had been caught because without correction he was at risk of developing ''lazy eye'' and also being unable to develop depth perception.

There is obviously a big difference between 7mos and 3yrs... but it doesn't sound odd to me that your child is farsighted at that age. If you are noticing eye turning, glasses are probably in order. Many children are not caught early but still need glasses. If you are looking for a second opinion call the UC Optometry School (642-2020) and get and appointment in the Infant/Toddler Clinic. We have seen several different professors there and always had all of our questions answered. Hope that helps. Four-eyed Mom

Hi - my daughter went to the eye doctor at one because she had a droopy eye, and at the same time he diagnosed her as severely farsighted. However, this doctor, who is well known in the field, told us that he would not even consider putting her in glasses until at least two. He said that children's eyes change so fast that you can't even tell what there vision will be like until that time. Sure enough, at two her vision was fine. So maybe waiting is the answer. At the very least get a second opinion. Good luck!

5-year-old needs glasses

March 2005

My 5 years-old daughter needs prescription glasses. I want to hear from other parents who have kids wearing glasses. Are they teased in school? If they are, what good responses have you come up with? Should we go with bright fun glasses or more discreet blend-in ones? Do the kids that age ressent wearing glasses or enjoy being a little different? What about books for kids on wearing glasses? m

My daughter needed glasses also at five years old, but unfortunately we did not realize the severity of her problem until she wasn't reading in the middle of first grade. We also had to do eye patching, eye exercises, and lots of testing - we practically lived at the UC Optometry Clinic that year.

She is now ten years old. We have been going to therapy over the past year, and she has discussed at length being teased mercilessly the first year or so after she got glasses. If I could do it over, I would ask my daughter daily how things are going. I would talk to the teacher(s) and ask them to pay attention to any teasing, and I would follow up repeatedly with the teacher.

You should feel good about recognizing the issue early on, and asking how to handle the situation. Lastly, regarding styles, it took several years to hit upon the right style for my daughter. Make sure to get sturdy frames and protective coatings! anon

This is an answer from my sister, who is an optometrist down in southern california: ''Kids that age love wearing glasses, in general. I have actually had kids (usually between the ages of 4 to 11 or so) who cry when I tell them they don't need glasses. I would, personally, go with bright colors, because I always say that if you're going to wear glasses, you may as well wear glasses! But especially important is to let the kid choose the frames instead of the parents, because then she'll wear them!'' Nancy

Our daughter got her first pair of glasses (at 5 years old) 7 months ago. She was very unconcerned about wearing them from the very beginning. It may be that since she is an identical twin, she welcomed the chance to look different. I too was concerned that she might get teased but am happy to report that she has not experienced any teasing whatsoever.

I would like to comment on one thing that I would have done differently. I figured that since she was young and active that I didn't want to spend a great deal of money on glasses (which at most boutique frame stores can be quite pricey) assuming that they would probably get broken. So we went with a relatively inexpensive pair at Lenscrafters. For 7 months we have been going back and forth to get them adjusted as they have never fit properly (slide down her nose, seem a bit too wide). Last week the frames finally broke so today I went to a local frame store and ''invested'' in a much more expensive but flexible/bendable frame and received much more individualized attention. I believe it is worth it in the long run to get a frame that can hold up to the energy of an elementary school child.

Good luck!

My son is 5 and has worn glasses for about a year now. There was a slight adjustment period at first -- mostly the fact that they felt funny. He loved the way they looked. He's always been a kid who likes dressing up and to him, his glasses were just a fun accessory. He also seemed to like that he could see better, too, of course. I let him choose his own frames - to me, this seemed important. For the first pair, we went to Site for Sore Eyes. He liked the glasses but they never fit properly; they slid too far down on his nose, and the piece designed to curve around his ear kept falling off. When his prescription changed, at the suggestion of his fabulous ophthamologist, William Good, we went to Rims and Goggles in SF. Their store out in Laurel Heights has a great selection of kids frames - we went to the one downtown though which had somewhat less of a selection but was still good. I kind of wish I had asked them only to show him the ones in my price range bcs we ended up spending more than I wanted to. But he LOVES his glasses. He's told me that he hopes his eyes don't get better because he wants to always wear them.

Kids look cute in glasses, and he gets lots of compliments on them. Yes, he has gotten teased a little from peers, I think, but it hasn't seemed to bother him. He is not the only one with glasses in his class, either. Oh -- and I have to say -- one thing that probably helped was Harry Potter. Harry is so cool, and he has glasses. If your child hasn't seen the video, you might consider it. There's also an Arthur book about Arthur getting glasses, too. But Harry, alas, was a really strong influence. Good luck - I think it will go better than you expect. Also, in case you are concerned about damage - kids' glasses are very well constructed - he's never broken them. Fran

My daughter (9) has been wearing glasses since 9 months old and my 13 year old just got reading glasses. My 13 year old son was excited to get glasses and can't wait to get his braces and it's no wonder...they are so much more cooler than when I was a kid!!! My daughter has had many frames over the years and they have all been sooooo cute. The latest pair are ''Princess'' glasses by Disney. They have various colors and little decorations on the sides. I just volunteered on picture day at my daughter's school helping groom the children. I was amazed at how many wore glasses (quite proudly) and how attractive the glasses are. My daughter has never come home saying anyone has teased her about her glasses. My daughter was the one who chose her frames also. We chose the price range and let her choose which pair she liked so it gave her more responsiblity over the glasses.

I hope this is of help for you. Good luck and have fun looking at all the great frames!! Susan

My son started wearing glasses in kindergarten. He also had to wear an eye patch periodically for amblyopia (lazy eye). He's never gotten much teasing, but when he did he kind of shrugged it off saying ''I can wear glasses and see, or I can not wear them and not be able to see...what would you choose''? He's always had wire rim plain but fashionable glasses.

Now he's 14 and is trying contacts which he likes but doesn't like putting in so we're not sure which way he'll go. I doubt your daughter will be the only one wearing glasses in her class...you and she can make it an exciting cool thing so that she feels good and feels that she looks great in them, rather than setting her up for the expectation that she might get teased which could put the idea in her mind that glasses are not cool, OK, etc. Hope this helps. anon

My almost 5 year old has been wearing glasses for nine months. She is now on her second pair. (Broke the first pair two weeks ago.) Both my husband and I wear glasses, so she thought it was ''being grown up'' to wear glasses. She's not in school but among her friends she's the only one who wears glasses and after some initial questions as to why she needs them, none of the children now comment on them. It's my sense that there are many more children wearing glasses in school today because vision problems are recognized earlier so having glasses isn't unusual. As to your question about style, I like bright colored glasses for myself but on my daughter the kid-style bright ones we found looked a bit goofy or had cartoon character logos which might date quickly. We settled happily on a dark blue titantium frame that is super lightweight, comfortable, and seems difficult to destroy. River

A couple of things I wanted to add about young children wearing glasses - make sure the prescription is appropriate (not ''undercorrected'') and ask FOR WHAT OCCASIONS your child should wear the glasses. Until a few years ago, optometrists assumed that ''undercorrecting'' would improve near-sightedness, but recent studies have shown that this practice actually makes vision worse. Also, most kids only need glasses for reading or seeing distances, not for every task. Wearing glasses all the time can also make your eyesight worse. The best thing to strengthen your kids' eye muscles is get them outside (away from computers and televisions) where they can see things at distances greater than 20 feet! --4 eyes since 2nd grade

Inexpensive kids' glasses

Sept 2003

My seven year old is on her second pair of glasses since she got them less than two months ago. Does anyone have suggestions on places to get inexpensive glasses quickly for kids? We would prefer to not go to the school of optometry for this. Thanks.

Have you tried Costco? That's where I've bought my adult-sized glasses that past 10(?) years. Not had a problem yet! They do have children's sizes. Oh, and you may not need to be a member to use - years ago I let my membership lapse a year or two and did still use the optometry center without problems. You might call to confirm if you're not a member. 4 eyes

Try Walmart! - very affordable

I missed your original post, but I would suggest Kaiser if you are a member. They have a deal for the frames, UV coating, and high impact lenses. I think it was around $100 (not sure though). Plus a 1 year warranty. J12

3.5 year old will be getting glasses

March 2002

My 3.5 year old was just diagnosed with amblyopia and farsightedness and will be getting glasses in the next week or two. At this point, he isn't very enthusiastic about the fact that he will have to wear them. (I've been wearing glasses since I was three for the same problem.) I'm looking for advice on getting him to wear the glasses, children's books about kids wearing glasses (suited to a preschooler), and advice on how to deal with any teasing that may arise. When I began wearing glasses more than 30 years ago, and all through school, kids weren't very nice to those who wore glasses. I'm hoping this attitude has changed but just in case, I want to be prepared. Thanks in advance for any advice on the above questions! Dylan

Too bad he's not older...my boys (7 and 5) are DYING for glasses - so they can look like Harry Potter! They actually scour playgrounds for discarded glasses, take them home and fix them up (as best they can) so they can wear them! Kathy

There was a NYTimes article on March 19th about treating amblyopia. Thought it might be useful to you. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/19/health/children/19UPDA.html


My daughter is now 4 and has been wearing glasses since she was 3. She was diagnosed with accomodative strabismus due to farsightedness.

Wearing glasses has never been a problem for her since it improved her vision. Here are my recommendations for whatever its worth... I found a place with a great selection of glasses and allowed her to pick them. She picked out a pair of pink frames with Mickey Mouse on them. She loves them. She takes care of them and has never lost them (yet).

Two other things that I would recommend if you could afford it is the polycarb lightweight lenses and wrap around temple frames (most glasses can be retrofitted with these hooks that go around their ears). The polycarbs are thinner and lighter which make them more comfortable and less distracting when people look at your child (they don't have that coke-bottle look to them). The wrap around temples keep the glasses on through most 3-4 year old play activities. My daughter is quite active and swings upside down at school on the climbing bars and has never had problems with her glasses. The only times she takes them off is for ballet (I'm not sure why she does...) and for swimming.

Two places that I found that had a great selection of children's glasses were:

UC Berkeley Optometric Center on the UC campus Arts & Science eyewear in Lafayette. Fred Weisner has been great with my daughter and really takes the time to make the glasses fit well!

Good luck. Email me if you would like to discuss further.

P.S. I was not impressed with any of the childrens books written for kids to address the issue of glasses primarily because they all start out from a very negative slant to the whole idea of glasses. I never gave my daughter the impression that wearing glasses was a negative event (it helps that both her father and I wear glasses). The last thing I wanted was to read her a book that told her that people thought that wearing glasses was negative. I just told her that the glasses were 'medicine' or 'tool' for her weak eyes. This gave her the words to use when other people including kids asked her about her glasses.

P.P.S. There is a yahoogroup email list for people wishing to discuss Amblyopia called LazyEye [at] yahoogroups.com. berg

My son will also be getting glasses for the first time, in May, at about 3.5 yrs for farsightedness. So far we have talked about it a little with him. Fortunately, my husband is a big Harry Potter fan so my son has had play/dress up/''Harry Potter'' glasses for the past year. Unfortunately, they are play glasses and my son thinks nothing of ripping them off and tying them in knots... so I don't know how well that bodes for the future.

My neice has been wearing glasses since she was about 1 yr. old to correct her crossing eyes. My sister-in-law drew glasses onto all of the characters in her favorite books so that they were ''getting glasses too''. They also spent the weeks between ordering the glasses and the glasses ariving emphasizing people who were wearing glasses so she could notice how normal it was. For the first few months it was touch and go keeping the glasses on. I think she lost a few pairs. They eventually bought a strap to keep the glasses on her (the kind boaters use to keep their glasses on while sailing) and that, and time seemed to help. Now she wears them happily.

Of course you and I will be dealing with older children. I am hoping that means that we will have an easier time of it. I am told that usually older children are so happy to be able to see clearly that they don't take the glasses off as much.

As far as books go, I don't know of any specific ones that have a character getting glasses. Arthur does wear glasses (he is also on TV on PBS) so those at least have a character who is wearing them. (But now that I think about it there may be a Berinstein Bear book where some one gets glasses... I can't remember for sure.) I haven't looked too hard. We just had our second child and I bought a whole bunch of ''_______ gets a baby brother/sister'' books and my son was totally uninterested in reading them. I think he was feeling a little too pressured to enjoy the story.

As for future social/peer comments about wearing glasses, I can't really comment about elementary or pre-school. I teach middle school and that is not one of the popular slurs I hear thrown out, so it definitely isn't a very big problem by that age. I do have a few students who have been prescribed glasses and refuse to wear them in school because they think they will look like nerds, so the mentality is still out there, I just think it isn't as fun to call someone ''four eyes'' when you can be much meaner by calling other names.

Good luck with your son and glasses. I am sure it will be fine. I got my first glasses at around age 5 (I was supposed to have them at age 3,) and I remember how exciting it was to finally be able to see. At that point I could read and was taking piano lessons and it was amazing to be able to read everything clearly all of a sudden.

Regarding the child who would be getting glasses for amblyopia, I can only speak as someone who as a child had to wear glasses for amblyopia. I can't recall how old I was at the time, I'm afraid, but I do remember that at first I had glasses with a beige patch to go over the lens of the good eye to strengthen the bad eye. For a while I wore those without a problem. But then I got self-conscious about it and thought it looked ugly and refused to wear it. I was then given a black pirate patch which I thought was very cool and I wore that without complaining. Unfortunately, in the end I reached a point where I refused to wear anything and my ambloyopia got worse. I unfortunately wasn't forced to wear a patch at that point and my lazy eye never got better. To this day I am very conscious of the fact that if anything were to happen to my good eye, I would be in a very bad situation as my bad eye is not very functional (I think it's technically legally blind, in fact). Lori

Adults' Glasses

Eyeglass frames for small face

May 2012

I'm about due for a new pair of glasses but dreading the search for frames. I am petite and have trouble finding frames that don't extend way beyond the edges of my face. Is there a local optometrist with a good selection of smaller frames? Or recommendations for a brand which runs small? Should I be looking in the kids section? Tiny head

I share your tiny-faced pain. I usually have to buy kids' glasses and sunglasses. The best selection of frames (including small ones) I've found is at the UC School of Optometry. I got some small cute frames there that were made by a local designer. You can also try the kids' frames--they don't all have cartoon characters on them. Small-faced

I'm a pinhead, too! The best small glasses I've found (mine are a size 43) are made by a company called Ogi. I think mine are technically kid frames, but they're very adult looking, so don't worry about having Hanna Montana on the side or something. There's also a company out of Japan called Microframes, but I've not had luck finding a pair I like. Happy Hunting!

Next Eyewear on College. http://www.yelp.com/biz/next-eyewear-oakland Melissa, who I think is the owner, is AMAZING at finding just the right frames to fit your face and your style. I too have a small face and am also extremely near-sighted, so much so that my lenses cause extreme distortion to the sides of my face. Melissa managed to find stylish glasses that look great on me -- I've bought two pairs over the years -- so much so that I wear them constantly now (used to always wear contact lenses). Also, she and her assistant are very friendly and they'll adjust your glasses for free anytime you stop by. Specs

Kid's frames might be a good option for you if your head really is that much smaller than normal. Eye Care Optometry, on Lakeshore in Oakland, has a nice selection, including many styles that would be perfectly appealing to adults. Carrie

Note that many frames (not all) come is a variety of widths, so ask the staff where you try frames on. They probably display the most common sizes, but others are available. have them measure your face and look up the availability of those you might like to try. They will probably be willing to order them for you to try on without obligation to buy. R.K.

I, too, have a small face, and for my first pair of glasses (late 20's) did buy children's frames. But recently I did find adult frames for a smaller face. The brand is Ted Baker. In fact, the pair I bought were the very first pair I tried (I then tried on 30 more pairs, but went back to the Ted Baker). I found them at Leslie Handmacher's in Walnut Square. There is also another optomotrist in Walnut Square and that is where my sister (even smaller face!) found a pair for herself (not sure of the brand). So those two places might be worth a try... A grown-up with a child-size face

I also have a petite face and have always struggled to find glasses that fit well. Most adult frames are just way too big and children's frames look like, well... children's frames! The best brand that I have found for smaller faces is Prada. They tend to be quite a bit smaller than other brands and I've found them to fit really well. Of course, being Prada they're not cheap. However they are really well made and come in classic styles so they last a long time and can handle multiple lens changes over the years as your prescription changes. Sally

I have a tiny face, and it's a really frustrating process when you look for glasses. So many cute frames, and none of them fit. My favorite brands are Kate Spade, Prodesign, modo, and Oliver Peoples. Kids frames rarely work, since the earpieces frequently are too short and the styling is blah. Look online as well, and thn you can pester your optical shop to special order what you want. A fellow pinhead

Anti-reflective coating on eye-glasses

Jan 2009

Has anyone had success with anti-reflective coating on eye glasses? This is the coating they put on your glasses so you do not see the glare at night from on-coming cars and other things. I always get my glasses at ''4 Eyes'' on Shattuck in Berkeley. They are very nice and helpful but the coating always messes up and then makes my glasses blurry. This happened in about 6 months. This has happened a few times. They made me a whole new pair of glasses once. They said it does not happen to everyone. I do have the problem of other cars' lights at night and need something. I also heard of putting some kind of ant-reflective snap on. 4 Eyes said they do not sell them. I could go anywhere in Oakland, el Cerrito or Berkeley. Thanks for the advice. amy

I have had anti-reflective coatings on my glasses for years. For most of those I got it from UC Optometry and I have never had any problem with the quality of any of their services/products. The last few years I got the coating from Kensington Optometry. The first time, the coating peeled off within a year. The person there said it was from using hot water to clean my glasses! (Didn't have that problem with UC Opt.) I'm trying again with new lenses from Kensington Opt. It's only been a couple of months so the verdict is still out. Francesca

Not all antireflection coatings are the same. Some are FAR superior to others. It could be that the shop you use only uses an inferior variety. To get a superior quality ARC (e.g.: Crizal Alize) you should expect to pay $125+ for the coating only. A good ARC will have a warrantee (usually 1 year) associated with it. This is against manufacturing defects--not against problems that you yourself may be causing. Things that can make your ARC wear out faster (again, this will happen much more readily with a cheaper ARC): wiping your glasses with paper products (tissue, papertowel). Always wipe glasses with a soft cloth after rinsing in water to remove anything that could scratch the lenses. Using a cleaner with an abrasive. The best cleaner (if you need one) is diluted dishwashing soap WITHOUT an abrasive in it like ivory liquid. Other, more obscure things: some AR coats stick to different plastics differently--so if you are insisting on a particular type of plastic, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Hairspray and other environmental chemicals may be damaging your ARC. Finally, if you keep your glasses in a hot, steamy environment (like the shower) it will be damaged much more easily.

I would recommend seeing George, who is the optician at the Tang Eye Center (510-643-2020). Bring in your glasses to show him your concerns--he may have recommendations for you. Full disclosure--I work at the Tang Center, so I may be biased, but George is great. Love my ARC

I get my glasses at UC OPtometry Clinic on campus. I always get anti glare coating and have never had a problem. anon

My optometrist told me that the antireflective coating gets messed up if you leave your glasses in the bathroom or other humid environment. So if you, like most people, head into the bathroom to shower or soak and leave your glasses on the counter, you are contributing to the deterioration of the coating. I didn't get it for that reason.

My last pair of glasses had the anti-reflective coating -- they may have actually been from For Eyes, but I am not sure -- and after less than two years, the coating got completely wavy and irregular, making my vision very blurry. When I complained they basically said, ''Yeah, that's how long it lasts, you should get new glasses every two years anyway.'' I don't want to have to throw away my glasses every two years, so I am no longer getting the anti-reflective coating. Better Reflections than Blurry!

New to wearing glasses: wear them all the time?

March 2006

I recently got my first pair of glasses, for distance. I began wearing them just when driving, but now see (!) that they are useful for seeing details in things that are just 5-10 feet away. I do not need them for reading, though my eyes are able to adapt to using them for reading, i.e. I can read fine with them on.

Now I have ''heard'' I shouldn't wear glasses unless I need them...maybe it will make my vision deteriorate more quickly? For my vanity, I don't feel I need to wear them all the time. But putting them on and off throughout the day is not too handy either.

How do people manage with the glasses? Wear them all the time or on-again-and-off-again? unclear about the concept!

It's hard to give you very specific advice without knowing more about your prescription. It sounds like, from your description, that your Rx is pretty low. Here's my 2cents. Wearing glasses makes your eyes weaker is an old wives tale. I could give many examples as to why the myth persists--but here is the biggest reason. Vision is a lot more than light hitting your eyes--your brain does a lot of post- processing to enable you to interpret the image. As you wear glasses, your brain gets a clearer image than prior to your having glasses at all--and now has something to compare the blurry image to. So, it's not that your vision without the glasses is getting worse--it's that you can now better tell how bad it is! So, my advice is--put the glasses on your face, and just leave them there for convenience sake. When you're at home (when you probably don't wear them) then take them off and leave them off. Eye doc

Try contact lens. -Gen

I got my first pair of glasses at age 28. I'm now 41. I'm too lazy to take them off when I don't need them for far-seeing, so I wear them all the time. Plus, love having a new accessory (I like wearing really unique, cool frames). In 13 years, my prescription has barely changed so I'm not sure if you do harm wearing them all the time. My optometrist has never told me not to wear them all the time, but maybe they just want ensured business. I do get my eyes checked once a year and buy new frames when my insurance allows. anon

I wear them all the time. Once you realize how much better you can see with them on, it seems like a real handicap not to have them - at least, it does for me. Wearing them may make my eyesight weaker, but squinting and eye strain as I try to focus without them is definitely not good for my eyes either. I know there are eye ''exercises'' you can do to strengthen your sight... if you're worried about it, you can look into that. 4-eyes

I've been wearing glasses for distance since high school (about 19 yrs.) and my vision hasn't changed that much. However I did develop an astigmatism in the last few years, though I'm not sure if that's relevant or not. I wear them pretty much all the time I'm awake except for the middle of the night when I feed my baby. My vision's not that bad, but I prefer to see clearly. Good luck! CV

I have been wearing glasses for years. I do switch between regular glasses and prescription sunglasses. I carry a case that has the other pair in it. As for vanity, there is always a price to pay. For you it is your sight. Some people have their glasses with them and when they need them put them on. Do what works for you. Ask your eye doctor questions that you might have. Do some of your own research and ask more questions. In the meantime...happy seeing clearly! Just call me fore-sighted

Fab reading glasses?

Sept 2003

I had ''that birthday'' and now suddenly need reading glasses! I only need .75, so the eye doc said I could get the off-the-shelf ones at Longs, but they're all so boring. I'm not ready to look like my grandma quite yet. Does anyone know who carries more fasionable reading glasses w/out going the $$$ prescription route? squinty sue

I can't remember the name, but there is a store next to Sweet Potatoes at 4th Street which sells nifty reading glasses. I'm not sure what their prices are like, HOWEVER, for great selection of fun glasses in the $20.00 range check out http://www.peeperspecs.com/products/ They have TONS of styles from sedate to FABULOUS! Check them out. Rachel

I just saw some this weekend! Though, the trick is... where? I am almost positive it was at the gift/kitsch shop on College Ave in Rockridge, between 63rd and Alcatraz. Unfortunately, I don't know the same of the shop and I'm only about 98% sure that is where I saw them. (If not there, try ''A Little Something'' on College, on the north side of Alcatraz... I saw them in some shop as I was walking from Rockridge to Elmwood). Good luck! Sorry I cannot be more definite. Scatterbrained, but sure I saw some... :)

I found some interesting ones at Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley on Shattuck. Ruby

Cool reading glasses are available at a little gift shop (I can't remember the name!) on College Ave, just south of Alcatraz, next to Noah's Bagels. anon

I'm still two years away from ''that birthday'' and have been wearing reading glasses for about ten years, so don't feel bad! I am writing to recommend you don't buy over the counter readers, but watch for a sale at a chain like Site 4 Sore Eyes or Four Eyes (in SF.) They have fantastic sales on single vision lenses like you need and have fashionable frames - this is also important to me. The main advantage is that readers crafted for you by an optician will be customized to your eyes - particularly to the distance between your pupils. It makes a big difference. hip four-eyed mama

The name of one shop on College Avenue that carries snazzy reading glasses is Itsy-Bitsy. The glasses are on a stand on the counter. I went in to buy a Bat Mitzvah gift, but have been craving the glasses ever since. They're spectacl-ur! (Sorry) Still wishing I'd bought them