Did you see it? When my daughter was 2, I shared some pictures of her spinning around with family – she looked so joyous! Our aunt replied, noticing our DD’s eyes were not aligned and suggested I see an eye doctor. I could see it in the pictures, but thought it was from the spinning. I booked her for an eye exam the following week just to be safe and the Optometrist confirmed it, my daughter had a ‘lazy eye’ (amblyopia) due to a slight misalignment.
Lazy eye (amblyopia) is decreased vision that results from abnormal visual development in infancy and early childhood. Although lazy eye usually affects only one eye, it can affect both eyes. Lazy eye is the leading cause of decreased vision among children. – The Mayo Clinic
In most pictures, and most of the time, her eyes appeared to be fine. It was so slight, I couldn’t see it myself. I thought it would be more obvious if there was a problem. I thought my child had to be able to read letters on a chart to get a thorough eye exam. I didn’t know that optometrists can screen and assess eyes for infants.
At the time, our treatment options were fairly limited. The optometrist advised that we had caught the eye turn too late to correct it. I was shocked! She was only 2, surely, there was time to fix it! But I learned that I should have brought her in at 6 months.
This was almost 10 years ago, there have been some advances since that time. We followed a routine of patching and doing exercises to help my daughter strengthen her weak eye. Ultimately, we were able to get her vision back and each eye is now 20/20. Surgery was offered for cosmetic purposes only, but with her eye turn being so slight, I was unwilling to opt for the surgery.
She currently uses one eye or the other, never both at the same time. The optometrists at UW Optometry check up on her every year and seem impressed with her ability to switch eyes. She does not have ‘3D’ vision, but her brain compensates for this and although some skills may take her longer (hitting a baseball or riding her bike) she will lead a normal life and be able to drive if she chooses.
When my son was 6 months, I took him to our local Ontario Early Years Centre for a vision screening. No eye turn, healthy eyes. Please check with your local Early Years Centre or equivalent to see if they offer this program:
The University of Waterloo, School of Optometry offers vision screening for children 6 months to 6 years of age. The vision screening examination will include an assessment on your child’s visual acuity, eye coordination and depth perception. Question’s you many have regarding you or your child’s vision can be answered. – Our Place Early Years Centre
In Ontario, OHIP covers annual eye exams for children and young adults under the age of 20 (and seniors over 65). We take both of our children annually for their free exam.
People 65 years and older and those younger than 20, are covered by OHIP for a routine eye examination provided by either an optometrist or physician once every 12 months plus any follow-up assessments that may be required. – Ontario Ministry of Health
October is Children’s Vision Month. Please join @YMCBuzz and Doctors of Optometry Canada to learn more about keeping your children’s eyes healthy at the #FamilyEyeHealth Twitter Party on October 18th at 9pm ET. There will be lots of good information as well as awesome prizes!
During the party, five lucky winners will win the following:
- A HP Pavilion 360 laptop and a $200 gift voucher to be used for goods/services from a local doctor of optometry.
I hope to see you there! 🙂
❤ Jennpup ❤
This post was not sponsored, but it is an issue I care very much about! ❤