Glasses Frame Selection for Pediatric Patients
As an optical professional, I have fit countless patients of all ages for frames. One of the most important things to consider when fitting a child is the fit of the frame. Position of wear and comfort are both very important with children because if they are not looking through the prescription there is no benefit, and if they don’t like how they feel, I guarantee they will not be on for long! Most children prescribed glasses are excited to pick them out and typically will pick frames similar to what their friends or brothers and sisters have. Because both children and frames are so unique, the frames a child wants do not always fit correctly. When these conflicts arise, I will typically focus on the things the child likes about his friend’s or brother’s glasses such as color or style. When I have a few characteristics to go by, I will broaden my choices to include all of the blue frames, for example. I have the child try each of the frames on and look at where they sit in respect to his pupil and also how they fit on the nose, behind the ears, and along the sides of the head. The perfect fit has the pupil centered in the lenses, both vertically and horizontally, as well as the earpieces running straight back to the ears without bowing out. Adjustable nosepads are generally recommended, but with the trend heading toward plastic frames special considerations must be made in regard to the fit on the child’s nose as well as the eye size.
When fitting a plastic frame for a child the frame must fit correctly on the child’s nose. If the frame is too narrow, it will push itself off of the child’s nose completely, and if it is too wide it will slide down constantly and the child will end up looking over the glasses. When a child tries on a plastic frame with me, I typically will sit across from them and look for light peeking through between their nose and the frame. If it is difficult to tell, I will gently tap the frame from side to side to check for any movement between the nose and the frame. If the frame moves too much I will recommend another of a similar style that fits better. Another often overlooked feature to consider is the length of the earpiece. If the earpiece is too short the frame will cut into the ear and if it is too long it can be extremely difficult to adjust properly.
Taking all of these factors into account is necessary in order to make sure the frame fits properly and that the patient can actually benefit from the frames they choose. Hopefully these tips helped! Thank you all for reading this!