This is something I've been wanting to blog about for some time. I'm not sure what's taken me so long; other than the fact that the amount of information can be overwhelming, and I'm definitely no expert. But, I'm going to turn this into a little series, just because there is SO much to say about it! I really hope somebody finds this helpful...
I'm sure many of you have noticed that my oldest son, Brychan, wears glasses. He's not quite 4 yet, and has been wearing them since about 19 months. Glasses with such a young child has been quite the experience, and I'd like to share some of the most frequently asked questions we get!
The number one question we get is: How did you know your son needed glasses?
When he was about 17 months old, I started noticing that his right eye would turn in towards his nose just ever so slightly. It was totally random and was hard to see at first. For several days, I just wondered if I was seeing things, but then one day it was so noticeable that I called my husband right away. I tried to calm myself from freaking out and we made an appointment with his pediatrician. We left that appointment with a referral and an appointment to see a pediatric ophthalmologist.
Our first visit with the pediatric ophthalmologist was as good as could be expected, I guess. We were told that he was severely near-sighted and had amblyopia (lazy eye). I was totally confused, because Brychan could see birds and planes in the sky with no issue, and could find the tiniest any on the ground without bending over. The doctor explained that in young children, the brain compensates for weak eyes and helps them be able to see perfectly. Nice, right? Not so much. In a child with a severe vision impairment, you have until the age of 8 to correct it. If not corrected, it could lead to blindness in that eye. So while it's nice that the brain is helping them out, it's kind of detrimental too.
However, we were told that while it would take a very long time, with the proper management, his eye could be "fixed" (ie strong enough to not be lazy. I don't like using the term "fixed" but for lack of a better word, there it is) and his vision could greatly improve. Music to this devastated mother's ears!!
This was right after our first visit to the eye doctor. It obviously didn't phase him one bit. I, on the other hand, cried non-stop for days on end. I knew it wasn't the end of the world; it could be much worse, and it was just glasses after all. Both my husband and I have bad eyes, so we knew our children would need glasses eventually. But at 18 months old? And the realization that my baby wasn't perfect was really hard to swallow.
I'll stop there for now. But I'll be back next week with more FAQs. The moral of today's "story" is to get your child's eyes checked before they start kindergarten!! If you notice eyes that are turning in any time after 6 months of age (before 6 months, it's developmentally normal for their eyes to wander), get them to the pediatrician asap!!