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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We live in a state that requires an eye exam by an optometrist for all kids in kindergarten. Although we are homeschooling and nobody is checking up on me, I decided our DS would have the eye exam as well, because while I knew his far vision to be really good, I wanted to make sure his near vision was also okay. I was not expecting the exam to turn up any major problems.<br><br>
Whoa.....he has lazy eye....and it's pretty bad !!! With his right eye, he can only read the E at the very top of the chart <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">. And because he's not getting any useful visual input from that eye, he's not developing any depth perception.<br><br>
The good news is, they can treat it by patching the other eye until around age eight, so we have almost two years to treat it. He will get glasses with a very strong prescription for that eye, and his left eye will be patched four hours a day to make his right eye start working and make his brain start paying attention to it.<br><br>
I am SO GLAD we did this eye exam. I truly had no idea at all he could only see from one eye. We are going to go ahead and have our 3 yo examined as well, so that if he has the same problem, we have even more time to correct it.<br><br>
If anyone is on the fence about getting an eye exam for their 5/6 yo, I would encourage you to go ahead and have it done.
 

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I agree - eye exams are hugely important! We started at age 5 and will go every year.<br><br>
Glad you caught this and can get started on treatment!
 

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Because my dh and I have really bad eyesight, we started dd1 at 2 years. I actually need to make an appointment soon to get her eyes checked again. I also need to get mine and dd2 eyes checked soon.<br>
I had the exact same problem as your ds. No one noticed until I was almost 8 actually. They did the patch and glasses thing for me. I wish my parent would be able to afford to get the surgery when I was younger, because my eye will never work properly. The ligament shortened to compensate, which means I can't get lasik eye surgery if I wanted it. Well, thats not true. I could get it but my weak eye would never work as well as its supposed to. If the doctor botched the surgery and I lost sight in my good eye, I would be legally blind. Apparently no doctor worth his degree would do the surgery for fear of that happening.<br>
Thank god you guys caught it early! There are so many more options open to you than there was for me.
 

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I'm so glad you got that exam! We found out when my dd was 8 that she had a lazy eye. She'd been seeing an eye doc since age 5 and somewhere btwn 6.5 and 8 her left eye stopped focusing. Her doc showed me what her vision was like in that eye and I was horrified to see how poorly she could see.<br><br>
She too, had to patch her eye for hours a day, plus wear glasses at home. One thing we did that helped a lot was to play a lot of hand/eye games w/her while she wore her patch. We'd sit on the kitchen floor and roll a ball back and forth between us, we'd play two square (four square w/two people), toss a ball back and forth in the air so she had to catch it, and we are lucky to have a pinball machine, so she'd play that every day. It's hard to track a pinball w/one eye. I highly recommend such activities. Our eye doc said it really improved her vision in her weak eye much faster than expected. She went from wearing the patch hours every day, to after 6 mths needing it only 3-4 hrs once a week. After a year no patch and only glasses. And she only has to wear the glasses at home. She can wear them to school but she doesn't have to. Good luck, and I too think early eye exams are a good thing.
 

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I would see a developmental optometrist for eye therapy like the PP mentioned. My son had a different issue (his eyes didn't work together) but the exercises really helped dramatically.<br>
I found doctors and information via these sites.<br><a href="http://www.covd.org/" target="_blank">http://www.covd.org/</a><br><a href="http://www.visiontherapy.org/vision-therapy/vision-therapy-links.html" target="_blank">http://www.visiontherapy.org/vision-...apy-links.html</a>
 

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I'm surprised this wasn't caught before age 5! My kids used to get a quickie eye exam at the pediatrician's office at every annual checkup, starting around age 2 or 3. Then again, the new ped doesn't do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think they never did it with him having one eye covered.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ruthla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13948622"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm surprised this wasn't caught before age 5! My kids used to get a quickie eye exam at the pediatrician's office at every annual checkup, starting around age 2 or 3. Then again, the new ped doesn't do that.</div>
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you ! I had already called one in our area and they are supposed to call me back tomorrow. I was wondering if anyone had used vision therapy for their child with good results. I'm glad to hear it can be helpful.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sbgrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13948604"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would see a developmental optometrist for eye therapy like the PP mentioned. My son had a different issue (his eyes didn't work together) but the exercises really helped dramatically.<br>
I found doctors and information via these sites.<br><a href="http://www.covd.org/" target="_blank">http://www.covd.org/</a><br><a href="http://www.visiontherapy.org/vision-therapy/vision-therapy-links.html" target="_blank">http://www.visiontherapy.org/vision-...apy-links.html</a></div>
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I had vision therapy 34 years ago. It was hell and it didn't work. I ended up having surgery. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a friend who had a similar experience. She also needed surgery, to correct double vision. The vision therapy was really hard and didn't help her at all. I am getting the idea that vision therapy is not a substitute for surgery, and if surgery is what is really needed, then vision therapy won't help. But this morning the doctor said that since both of his eyes track, there is no eye turn, and no double vision, he will not need surgery. So I am hoping he may be someone who might actually be helped with vision therapy.....?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KatWrangler</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13949683"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I had vision therapy 34 years ago. It was hell and it didn't work. I ended up having surgery. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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Just to clarify:<br>
I am assuming by 'lazy eye' you mean amblyopia which can be helped (greatly) by patching.<br><br>
Often people say 'lazy eye' for strabismus. That is not the same thing at all and often needs surgery.<br><br>
Amy
 

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Thats really interesting.<br><br>
My ds had the same thing happen with his eye exam for school. He was found to have one really bad eye. We saw a pediatric opthamologist, who confirmed that his eyesight was really poor in the one eye, but he said that the other eye had compensated for it , and that the patching was a long and difficult process with a 98% chance that it wouldn't work.<br><br>
I'm anxious to hear more as the patching progresses and find out if it worked!<br><br>
edited to add: I'm not sure if his official diagnosis was ambliopia or strabismus...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Our son's diagnosis is amblyopia. He does not have strabismus. His eyes are perfectly aligned, and they track together, and he does not have double vision. One eye just does not focus on anything.<br><br>
I spoke with the developmental optometrist today, the one who offers vision therapy. She told me that right now, if that eye can only read the E at the top of the chart and nothing else, it is about 20/400. She would not recommend starting vision therapy until the glasses and patching have improved it to around 20/80 or 20/60. Because he is young she expects that the patching will cause significant improvement, but there is no way to predict how quickly it will improve. She said that some kids get dramatic improvement from patching in just a couple of months and for some it can take a couple of years. She said that with her patients who are patching, she rechecks their vision every six weeks. So we will go ahead with the glasses and patching, and when his vision has improved enough, I will call her to do the exam to start vision therapy. She also told me that meanwhile while he is patching each day, I should encourage him to do some activities that require the eye to work, and some that require depth perception, such as rolling a ball back and forth, and working up to catching if he's willing and able to do it.
 

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Our neighbors just had their 5 yr old son tested and found out he is legally blind in one eye - they had NO idea! Kids can adapt so well.<br><br>
~Tracy
 

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I'm glad to hear that hand/eye games will be helpful for your ds. One thing I didn't mention before is the patching was very hard at first for my dd b/c she couldn't see anything at all out of her eye. We don't allow much tv at our house, and when we do it's only for movies. So what we did was waited till her glasses came in and once they did, didn't start with the patching right away. We let her wear the glasses only for 1-2 weeks and we let her watch a lot of movies. Watching tv is not helpful for her improving her vision (our eye doc said anything but tv was good, even the computer) but it really helped her get used to the glasses. Then we began the patching, and we started at 10 min at a time, and planned to build up slowly to the several hours a day. However, after just a week or so she would wear the patch while watching tv or using the computer for a couple of hours at a time. We kept up the liberal use of the tv and computer and pretty soon she wore her patch regularly at home for other activities. So my advice is to take it slow on getting him to wear the glasses and patch. Another few weeks or month isn't going to make a difference in the long run, and will likely help him adjust more easily. Good luck.
 
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