9 answers

Lazy Eye in Both Eyes, Amblyopia Just Diagnosed.

Dear Mom's, I'm a Grandmother of 3 grandchildren, age 3+1/2, 1+1/2 and 7 months. Yesterday, my oldest grandchild was diagnosed with Amblyopia or Lazy eye in both eyes. More simply put she is cross eyed. Her condition has developed rapidly.
We had noted the following changes within the past 5 months: At times we observed that when she was tired, her left eye was resting near her nose. Recently and rapidly she developed two lazy eyes.

Her eye exam was with Grand Rapids Optometry of Michigan. She had an eye drop eye exam. The Optometrist stated that our Gd. daughters vision for distance is excessive for her developmental age. 3 year olds normally lose some of their long range vision, as part of normal eye development. She was prescribed glasses and my daughter in law ordered them. She will be reevaluated in 4 weeks.

I've been cruising the Internet, seeking information and ideas to more quickly restore her vision. I've checked out a computer game specifically for children with Amblyopia. Some Internet sites praise eye exercises, others are less enthusiastic.

Would you please share with me your experiences both good and bad regarding this condition and include treatments, Physicians, vision therapy, surgery etc.... My grand daughter lives within a 30 minutes drive to Lansing.

Thanking you so much in advance.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Dear Mom's, It's been less than 24 hours since I posted my question. You great ladies have promptly sent me information and provided me comfort regarding my Gd. daughters Amblyopia diagnosis. I am relieved to read that surgery is considered a realistic option for (some.) I can't help but wonder, if surgery will ultimately be the best option for my Gd daughter.

The next couple months will undoubtedly be educational for our family. I know of course that many families encounter far worse health problems with their children and grand children. I will continue to appreciate that our Gd. daughter has a non life threatening vision problem, that can be cured with time and patience. Patience is not my best quality, particularly when it comes to health care.

I hope to continue to post updates and ask more questions as we (we meaning my son, daughter in law, granddaughter, and grandparents) continue treatment.
Thank you, so much.
I am wishing you the best.
A.

More Answers

My daughter has strabismus...her eye turned out...it started gradually and then became almost constant, but not always turned out, as with amblyopia the turn in or out is constant.

We took her to a pediatric ophthalmologist recommended by our pediatrician. Turns out you need to see a PEDIATRIC ophthalmologist that specializes in strabismus and amblyopia as children's eyes are very very different from adult eyes.

Our daughter who was 2 at the time...was very blessed with no vision loss yet...sense she had no loss of vision patching was not an option (as using patches does not correct the alignment of the eye...but helps strengthen the vision in the eye that the brain has stopped recognizing because that is the only way the brain can stop the double vision...to "turn off" one eye).

Our doctor recommend surgery...I was a bit hesitant but realized that if that was the best way to fix the alignment before she lost vision then we needed to have it done.

So she had the surgery this past January...she did better than I did...she was a trooper...she was 2 years 9 months old...not quite 3 when she had the surgery. We went in knowing that it has an 80% success rate...so I just kinda figured she might need a second surgery...nope first surgery went great. Her eyes are perfectly aligned and she will have her last appointment in December to do a year check up and make sure her vision is still good. She might have to have another surgery around the age of 8 or 9...sometimes the condition will show up again at that age...but we will cross that bridge when it comes.

My advice and you can send me a private message if you want to...make sure you see a pediatric specialist...our doctor only works with strabismus and amblyopia...and if they recommend surgery don't be afraid...I would have her have the surgery again in a .heartbeat. If there is a vision loss already make sure she follows the patching instructions and using her glasses as directed...that can really increase her vision in the bad eye. My doctor told me that eye exercises were really not an option to help correct my daughter's eyes.

Big hug to you and your family...it is scary, but fixable!!

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter was diagnosed with a lazy eye at 6 mos. People say "It is so great you caught it so early!" to which I always say "Well, there was no missing it!". We patched her eye for quite a while (but as she was so young she kept ripping it off). She got glasses at age two and they have helped strengthen her eye more than the patching did. Your GD is older than my daughter (now 2.5) so my guess is she will do fine keeping the glasses on. We are considering surgery for when she is older. Our pediatric eye surgeon/doc says he wouldn't do it for several more years at least. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

This runs in my family - I have it. Only what I have are called alternating eyes - one would cross then the other, and eyes are constantly switching back and forth. At age 4 surgery made my eyes look straight, but they still alternated and always will, I guess. I am now 49. When I was 40, I had to have the surgery again. Both times, the surgery was easy to recuperate from. Sometimes eye exercises help. With mine, the doctors saud ut would not, but the same doctors did that therapy with my cousins. Good luck. the worst part of this is having no depth perception. I walked through the glass in a funhouse at the fair, and occasioinally would walk through glass doors. Cannot hit a baseball or a tennis ball at all. But I can drive and read and do many other things.

1 mom found this helpful

my youngest has intermittent exotropia, another form of strobismus (her eyes wander out, but only once in a while).
The next few months to a year are critical for your gd. The concern is that the pathways in the brain for eyesight are pretty much fully formed by age 5. so, if you don't get the eyes working together properly, you lose your window to develop 3D vision and to teach the brain to make them work together.
You'll notice as you cruise the internet that there doesn't seem to be any in between on therapy versus surgery. Either therapy is fantastic and surgery is evil or therapy is evil and surgery is fantastic. I'm of the opinion that the real truth is in the middle. If your gd's eyes are severely crossed and glasses/patching do not correct it, then seriously consider the surgery. However, if she is seeing in 3D and glasses/patching seem to be improving things, continue with therapy. Even if she has surgery, push hard for therapy to teach her brain how to use the realigned eyes, otherwise the surgery will have just been cosmetic. Also be aware that the surgery doesn't have a real great success rate - something like 70% IF you have a great surgeon AND the patient is a good candidate. Thus, I pushed for therapy - to the point that I ended up switching doctors - no easy feat because there are only two pediatric opthamologist practices in all of metro denver and we now drive to the Children's hospital 30 miles away for her.
And as one other poster noted, you need to see someone who specializes in strobismus and that tends to be pediatric opthamology (at our last appointment, an elderly woman was in front of us because the pediatric docs are the best at fixing double vision - many times caused by strobismus).
Yes, there is a computer game and other therapies that can help strobismus. My daughter did a computer game for a few months produced by Computer Vision System(?), CVS, that worked on near vision. It had fantastic results for her. My daughter then did prism therapy to work on far vision. It also had fantastic results but we've found that she's going to have to do maintenance and may have to for the rest of her life. My daughter was a good candidate for the therapy though because she has 20/20 in both eyes and has very good depth perception (3D vision).
what I have unfortunately learned is that this is relatively common (strobismus affects 5% of the population) but that the medical field doesn't have really good tools to deal with it (40-70% success rate on surgery and 70-80% success rate on therapy). ask lots and lots of questions of the doc, be diligent in following the prescribed therapy and pray.
good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My 13 month old daughter just had eye surgery for "strabismus" (which her eye was misaligned) She was crossing her left eye around 6 months old and then alternating eyes. It seemed to get worse when she was tired also. After seeing the pediatric opthamologist she suggested we patch her right eye for about 2 hours everyday which was difficult when she got older because she started to pull the eye patch off. I had to put socks on both of her hands and even that was difficult trying to keep her from pulling them off. We did this for 4 months. She had the surgery last week (hour away from home) and the surgeon said everything looks good so far. They cut into the white part of her eye and pulled the muscle back. Her eye was red for a couple of days - its getting better now just have to continue with the eye ointment to prevent infection and she had her eyes open in recovery which the surgeon was impressed. No patching yet and have to go back in 2 months. I'm just hoping this is all we need to do. So far everything looks good. What scared me in the past (before surgery) was the doctor saying her brain is "ignoring" her eye and that's why they wanted her "good eye" patched to work the "bad eye" I truly hope everything works out for your grandaughter - it's better to do any treatment now while she is young, that's what everyone told me.

1 mom found this helpful

I myself have amblyopia, in my right eye. It runs in the family: my mother had it, and four of my brothers have it.

In my case I am very lucky -- I have 20-20 in my left eye and it more than compensates for my right. I can't see in 3-D, or so they say -- everything live looks flat as a picture to me -- but I've never known any different, so I don't feel particularly bereft of anything.

If there's one thing I wish had happened differently, it's that my mother would have been stricter about my wearing an eye patch over my good eye. I remember trying it as a child and cheating to see by opening it up. Mom didn't exactly insist on my not cheating and after a while she gave up, and now I have a permanently lazy righht eye.

So please insist your grandchildren wear eye patches exactly as the doctor prescribes, because otherwise once they get past the age of nine or so, their eye will fuse into a permanently lazy condition and there will be no going back.

Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter, 4 1/2, had eye surgery this summer for strabismus (eyes go outward). She did very well and no longer has any issues with her eyes drifting. We first noticed the problem when she was around 6 months old. The pediatric ophthalmologist monitored her condition until she was old enough that surgery would be beneficial. Doctor suggested doing patching when she was 3, but my daughter refused. We were told that she'd probably need surgery anyway. It started getting much worse after she turned 4, so surgery was recommended at that time. Also, she is very sensitive to sunlight which we are told by the doctor is normal with eyes that have trouble focusing. Anyway, I was really concerned after the surgery. Her eyes were very red and started turning inward for several days. She complained of seeing double. The doctor said this was normal and that the eye muscles needed time to adjust. Between a week and three weeks after the surgery, she wore a patch on one eye each day for an hour, alternating. After that, the eyes were completely corrected. No more patching. All in all, a very good experience (thought scary in parts). I hope everything goes well for you!

1 mom found this helpful

My son patched for strabismus (wandering eye) for several years after surgery. He was 2 at the time of surgery. Now he just has to wear glasses and may not need them soon. He is ten. Really just do what the doctor recommends. Ours didn't have us do extra exercises, but there still has been great improvement. The challenge is convincing the child to wear the glasses. Glad that she is getting treatment!

Also I believe our doctor said that sometimes these issues can begin because of an illness in the second year...could be the reason for the speed of its development.

Blessings to you!

1 mom found this helpful

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