Monday, March 18, 2013

A is for - Amblyopia

A is for Amblyopia

Little J was diagnosed with Amblyopia when he was two. It was a fluke that we discovered it so early. I had cut his hair short for the summer and started to notice a very slight eye turn.

October 2010
Summer 2011

It wasn't all the time but he also seemed a little unsteady on his feet. One day I caught it on camera and we realized it really wasn't our imagination. We decided to take him to see our local ophthalmologist who is awesome. We were shocked with what he found. My baby had VERY bad vision and even worse in his right eye. This was the problem, because his vision in that eye was so bad his eye basically had decided to stop working.
First step - glasses
October 2012
The eye turn fixed immediately. I thought we had cracked it. However the eye still did not want to work. We started patching 2 hours a day - in the house, and we saw improvement. However eventually my ophthalmologist said he had done all he could and referred us to another amazing ophthalmologist who specializes in it. When we were referred Little J's eyesight was 20/100.

Since then we have been working with a 'at-home' eye therapy program AmbP inet, patching 2 hours a day, and working really hard (ask Little J) and it has started to pay off. We went back to the ophthalmologist last Wednesday for our regular check up and at first she seemed a bit concerned as his numbers hadn't seemed to have improved. Then something made her check it in a different way and guess what - The reason he wasn't reading the chart better is because his eyesight had improved. YEP you read that correct we are currently excitedly, crazily, patiently waiting for NEW lenses. He is now reading the chart at 20/60 which is a HUGE improvement.

So we are continuing to work hard but the goal of 20/40 doesn't seem as far away. Now the ophthalmologist did say it can be like weight loss a lot comes of and then we even out for a while. So I will try not to be too disappointed at our next visit if there is not as much improvement. However - I am going to enjoy this with him for the time being. 

Our ophthalmologist thinks our success is linked to...
1. I am really strict with the eye therapy program - we do it religiously 4-5 times a week.
2. We caught this EARLY in fact Little J is the youngest person to use the therapy program with this ophthalmologist.

Please, please take my advice if you think something is wrong with your child's eyes - even if it is just a nigglely feeling something is not right - get them checked out.

Little J is so intelligent, he loves to sit and read books - something I could not get him to do until he had his glasses - why? because he couldn't see the page. He went from a run around the house, cute crazy kid. To a run around the house, cute crazy kid, that knows his alphabet, counts to 20 (higher with a little help) reading simple words by sounding them out and SO much more. The ophthalmologist is convinced if we hadn't caught his eye problem (especially if we were in Public School) he would have been considered ADHD because who wants to sit still and concentrate when you can see anything?

We didn't thing anything was wrong with his eyesight because he can see things far away - the fact he couldn't see the page I was holding didn't enter my mind.

Little J working hard
The program we are currently using
 When it gets to much
We just remember every day - It will be worth it.

Head over to Marcy's blog Ben and Me to see what other people are blogging for 'A' this week on Blogging Through The Alphabet.

Blogging Through the Alphabet 

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  1. I admit -- I'm partial to little ones in glasses. Jude has worn glasses since 18 mos (he has severe esotropia/strabismus) and bifocals since he was 2. We've been at a status quo since then - we're hoping he starts outgrowing soon. I'm glad your guy is doing better, and hope he continues to improve!!

    1. Thanks - We hope so too! I think he looks handsome in the glasses :)

  2. I'm glad he is making improvements. I felt terrible when it was my sister-in-law who first noticed my oldest son's need for glasses before we did. She had already been through it with her daughter, so she recognized the signs when she taught him in co-op. He was 5 years old, though, and it is still a struggle to get him to wear his glasses consistently.

    1. Luckily we don't have that problem with Little J. His eyesight is SO bad the first thing he does in a morning is to slip them on. (They have a little elastic strap on the back to stop them falling off!) Now his older brother is a different story. He is short sighted and is constantly saying I can't see it...because his glasses are at home!

  3. It amazes me to see the resources and tools available now. When I was 5 we didn't have any thing fancy for visual training, we did a lot of pom pom pencil toppers and visual exercises.

    1. We did those with my daughter - her problem wasn't as bad. Her eyesight is perfect and she can use both eyes separately or together lol! She is great at target practice. She wore bifocals for a little while and we did the pom pom pencil toppers.

  4. Great job catching it - and staying up with the therapy! Stopping by from BTA. Blessings!

  5. That's awesome that you were able to diagnose the problem so early, and that he's showing such improvement! My oldest son has very poor vision - amblyopia is only part of it - and whenever I brought up a concern when he was a toddler, it was pretty much dismissed with "he'll grow out of it" until I insisted on seeing a specialist. Then we were shocked to find out just how poor his vision was! Once we had a diagnosis, he adjusted to his glasses very quickly and has been doing great. He still wears contacts/glasses, and he's now 20yo.

    All that to say that I second your advice - if parents have concerns about their little one's eyes, make sure to see an ophthalmologist, and if you can find one that specializes in pediatrics, that's even better.


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