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Eyeglasses may not always look the coolest. But, if your teen has a prescription for corrective lenses, it’s in their best interest to wear them …

Why Some Teens Refuse Glasses

Despite the protests of parents around the country, some teens simply will not wear their glasses– at least not on a regular basis. They might stress out about being called “four eyes” by friends at school (which is totally ridiculous, by the way), or they may think the glasses just aren’t cool. Then, again, another reason some adolescents won’t wear their glasses is because they are uncomfortable or undesirable in some way.

The Problem of Going Without

If a teen has a common eye condition and refuses to wear corrective lenses, it could spell trouble for their vision. The most common problem of foregoing eyeglasses when they are needed is blurred or distorted vision. Simply put, your teen will not be able to see as well, or move about in their environment as effectively. This can result in more accidents and sports injuries.

Another issue that can arise is eyestrain, which is a common condition that happens when the eyes are working really hard for a long period of time. Think about it: if your teen should be wearing glasses to correct their vision, their eyes will have to work in overdrive without the glasses. This can cause fatigue, headaches, and pain around the eyes.

Teenager in glasses

What Parents Can Do

Contrary to what your teenager might believe, glasses are truly “in.” Many people now wear them sans prescription simply as a fashion accessory. Plus, frames now come in a range of colors, styles, and labels. Considering this, it shouldn’t be too hard to help your child find a pair that suits their style. Here are some other ideas to get your teen to wear their glasses more regularly:

  • Compliment other glasses-wearers. Say, “Oh, I love your glasses!” to friends, family, or complete strangers, especially when your teen is within earshot. Doing so reinforces the idea that glasses can be attractive.
  • Let them choose cool ones they like. If you have a new teenager or if they’ve recently made a transition to a new school or peer group, their old glasses may have fallen out of favor. Allow your child to pick out frames that fit their unique style and personality– this will greatly increase the odds of them actually wearing them.
  • Get the right prescription strength. Sometimes, your teen may refuse glasses because the current prescription is too strong or old, causing headaches or eyestrain. Schedule regular eye exams with your Kansas City eye doctors to get personalized frames manufactured for your child’s needs. If the glasses are comfortable and truly make a difference in their vision, they are more likely to wear them.
  • Create an incentive. Set some parameters that encourage your teen to wear their glasses. Perhaps your teen is a beginning driver, tell them they must wear their glasses in order to have driving privileges. If your child refuses glasses that you’ve recently purchased, tell them they will need to use their allowance to reimburse you for the cost.
  • Consider contacts. If your child is reasonably mature, contact lenses may be an option to correct common eye conditions. Several factors will determine if your adolescent is a good candidate. Speak to your eye doctor to learn more.



Contact your Kansas City ophthalmologist to have your teen’s eyes examined. This is the best way to ensure that they are wearing the correct prescription, and monitor their eye health over time.

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