Can Your Child’s Vision Get Worse with Age?

by Jan 2, 2023

For many parents, making sure their children have the best possible vision is a major concern, especially if the child needs glasses at a young age. One question that is often asked is if the child’s vision can change as they grow. In fact, it is expected that the power of the eyes will change as the eye grows along with the rest of the body. Understanding what changes are expected and knowing how these changes may affect the child are the most important parts of providing the best possible vision for your child.

When Would a Child Need Glasses?

Having a regular, routine eye examination is important for all children because the child may not know that their vision is not the best it could be.

At a very young age, as young as six months old, a child may need to wear glasses if the eyes have unequal prescriptions, and it causes one eye to turn in or turn out.

As the child age, the tasks that they perform daily increase in the level of detail needed to complete them. With this change, more precise vision is needed, and glasses may be worn if the child is nearsighted, has astigmatism, or has a high amount of farsightedness.

By the time the child is in school, it is expected that the child will need glasses full-time to help correct any prescription that is present.

If a child has never worn glasses and begins to have difficulty in their early teenage years or when learning to drive, it is not uncommon for the child to begin wearing glasses at this stage in life.

How Does the Child’s Vision Change?

As children grow and develop, the entire body undergoes many structural and functional changes. In the eyes, the ability to see clearly and to the same level as an adult will progress until about age 6.

At this point, the eye is functionally as developed as the adult eye, but the eye will continue to grow.

When the eye grows, it can change the focusing power of the eye. The eye has the cornea and lens that are responsible for focusing light onto the back of the eye.

If the eye is perfectly focused on the back of the eye at a young age, the growth may cause the eye to become defocused and require glasses to correct this blur that develops with the growth.

Additionally, if the eye is already too powerful and is focusing light in front of the back of the eye at a young age, the child will be nearsighted and need glasses early on. The amount of nearsightedness can increase as the eye grows and the difference between the focused image and the back of the eye increases.

However, if the eye is naturally focused behind the retina in the back of the eye, the child will be farsighted. The child will be able to see clearly due to changing the focusing system of the eye but the eye will be able to accommodate the changes that come with age and not need glasses in many cases.

Do Needing Glasses Mean the Child Has Worse Vision?

Glasses are designed to provide clear, comfortable vision. If a child has not previously worn glasses and begins to need them, it is likely that the child’s vision without glasses is not as clear as it could be with them.

Fortunately, this does not mean that the child cannot see or that they are going blind, this is simply a change in the eyes due to the growth during development.

Glasses will be able to help the child see clearly and comfortably just as if the eye had no focusing misalignment.


Our eye doctors at EyeDocs Family Eye Care in Brookville, OH excel in the prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about your child’s vision. Our eye doctors, Dr. Kyle Maxam and Dr. Cara Wampler provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Brookville, Ohio.


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