Ian loves reading. A lot of reading. As he is color blind, I tend to pay more attention to his eyesight/vision. Lately I found him getting too near to books whenever he reads. I did simple tests at home, but not conclusive (I thought he must be too playful). So we decided to bring him to see a GP.
Yesterday when we brought him to see our regular GP, without hesitant he recommended that we send Ian to an optometric who is very good with kids.
During the test, I was there with Ian the entire process. We starter with his left eye, which I suspected is his “bad eye”. My heart sank, the moment we reached the 3rd row from top. He couldn’t read half. O became Q. V became Y. However, his right eye was perfect, even the smallest line he could read. In fact, the moment we switched to his right eye, he smiled happily!
After a few rounds of different tests, the lady pronounced that he has lazy eye, and it is long-sightedness. When he reads, he can’t read the smaller fonts with his left. Unconsciously, he tends to pull the book closer to him, hoping to get clearer (which obviously won’t). It would be a strain to his good eye when read too near.
As his right eye is perfect, and has dominated the vision (the brain already ignored the blur vision from left eye), the left eye would continue to get lazy and the power would get worse if not treated early. The end effect is either the left eye gets blind (worst scenario), or he would lose his 3D/depth perception. By losing his depth perception, meaning he would not be able to gauge distance. Impact to his life is that, he would not be able to catch a ball, driving would be in danger to others (unable to gauge the right speed, or keep a safe distance from the front car), clumsy (dropping things), etc.
Thank God that we have identified his problem early. According to the lady, the text book’s effective treatment age is 7-8 years old. Although some info from the web says treatment after 6yo is ineffective, I want to believe the lady, and we are now starting the treatment.
It sounds pretty simple to begin with. First, we got him a pair of glasses, to be used as much as possible. And there are 2 exercise that he has to do daily, with his good eye patched. Using his bad eye, he has to watch a program on TV for around 40 min, and then some ‘near game’ for another 40 min. The ‘near game’ can be reading a book or a game that is within that reading distance (for example, a jigsaw puzzle). I have let him started the eye-patching exercise program today, but he dislike playing jigsaw puzzle (bored with them already), so reading book is the way to go.
Actually, we would have simply overlooked this issue, because he seems completely normal, with perfect vision in daily tasks. He didn’t show any signs of difficulties in seeing things. That’s because his right eye is so dominating his vision, and his brain already ignored the image from his left eye to a certain extent. His right eye was so lazy that even through a ‘pin hole’ test, which normally can correct some vision, failed. So for all parents, do pay some attention to your children’s vision. Play some games with them to cover one eye and read something far, like car plate number in front, and something near – books of different font sizes.
Good news is, he did not have any issues with squint. Normally ppl with lazy eye would suffer squint. My sister’s son is suspected to have divergent squint, and may need surgical correction of his muscle before any therapy. She is still waiting for appointment to meet the eye specialist. Hmm… why so many problem?!!!
Oh! BTW, I bought him a pirate eye patch, to make him happy about patching his eye. Not very ideal, but for short term usage should be alright I guess. I saw from some picture in Google, there are some eye patches that are adhesive, looks more comfortable!! Wonder if it is available here.
Also, yesterday, I have asked for deworming medicine for our whole family too. Every since Ian went to school, he has shown signs of worm. After consulting the doctor, we thought maybe it is good that we all go through deworming lah. The adults also can get it, because we eat a lot of sashimi wor, plus the yee-sang during CNY… yuck! Can’t imagine the mother worm dangling at that part… Heard too many scary story about deworming. I scared to tell the kids, or they might reject the medicine. :p But today nothing came out. Maybe the new medication has improved so much that it won’t happen like last time.
Wah! Just too many things to update here in this post!!