Friday, October 17, 2014

Our Little Amblyope

A few months ago, we took Vivienne for her routine yearly check-up at the pediatrician.  During the visit, they do a simple vision test.  I was waiting in the exam room with Miles while Vivienne did it, so I wasn't able to watch.  The nurse came back with her and said that it seemed like she couldn't see very well with her left eye.  The pediatrician said that it could just be a lack of compliance, or it could be an actual vision problem.  With Vivienne, I was skeptical that it could be a lack of compliance (she follows directions very well).  He suggested that we take her to a pediatric ophthalmologist to get it checked out.

We made an appointment with the ophthalmologist, but we had to wait over a month to get in.  It was a special day for Vivienne and me.  I took her lots of snacks and we had some good time one-on-one while Miles and Evelyn were at Grandma's house.

When we got into the exam room, the woman giving her the eye test said that she thought it was probably just an issue with compliance.  Vivienne rocked the right-eye test.  Then when she patched her right eye and asked her to identify the objects with her left eye, it was abundantly clear that she could not see well.  She could barely read the first line.

After a series of these tests, including having her pupils dilated (Vivienne was such a trooper), we finally saw the actual ophthalmologist.  She said that Vivienne has amblyopia.  Her left eye is much weaker than her right eye.  She will be wearing glasses until probably at least middle school, and it's highly likely that her vision will be 20/20 when all is said and done.

I think a lot of people have been surprised to find out that she has amblyopia, because this is often known as a "lazy eye" where one eye turns in or out (strabismic amblyopia).  Vivienne's eyes are perfectly straight and always have been.  She has refractive amblyopia.  With time, her eyes and brain will learn to process images correctly with her left eye.

This week her glasses finally came in.  Unfortunately, she wasn't feeling very well the day we went to pick them up, so she wasn't as excited as I thought she would be.  But she sure looks adorable in them, and she has been a champ wearing them all day every day without a single complaint.

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