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Breaking eye glasses, Behavior


My 17-year-old daughter breaks her glasses when she is upset or sometimes just breaks them. I don’t know why or what to do.

Answer of our experts

Thank you for your recent email about your daughter and her habit of breaking glasses when she is upset. Unfortunately, this behavior is very common in our patients with CdLS. We don't have an exact answer for why this happens, but our best thoughts involve two ideas. The first is that many of our CdLS patients object to the FEEL of the glasses. They have what we call "sensory issues" that make wearing anything on the face/head a challenge. (Hats, glasses, etc).

he second idea is that they may not actually notice better vision with the glasses on (versus when they are off). Some of our patients are very nearsighted. You don't mention what her glasses are like (very strong nearsighted glasses might be the case). In our nearsighted patients, they actually see quite fine when looking at things up close, both with AND without the glasses. Distance vision is typically blurry without glasses, but if many of her activities involve looking at things at arm’s length or closer, she may not find them as helpful.

As for what to do: I would suggest continuing to try the glasses as much as possible. Some glasses are more durable than others, as you know. Your optical shop should be able to help you find a frame that is stronger compared to others. Of course NO FRAME is 100% indestructible. A 17-year-old upset gal can certainly break almost any pair. Some of our families try to anticipate this behavior when their family member is really really upset, but that can be difficult to predict.

Some of our families are able to get a back-up pair of glasses. If you are fortunate enough to do so, you can have her wear the back-up pair while the first pair is being fixed. Not everyone is able to do so, however, so if you cannot, just keep trying to do the best you can.

Overall, the most updated prescription and best fitting frames will tend to annoy her the LEAST. So, you will want to keep your regular eye appointments and will want to keep the frames as adjusted as possible (your optical shop should do adjustments free of charge.)

Finally, please realize that this is a very frustrating problem for you and other patients with CdLS. You are not alone. Do the best you can, but realize that your daughter may wind up breaking more frames in the future.

SS/TK 7-13-10

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