21 answers

My 2 Year Old Daughter Has a Lazy Eye, What Do I Do??

My husband and I just noticed that our 18 month old daughter has a lazy eye in her left eye. After plenty of research, we have are worried about several different scenarios. Will she need surgery? Will she need a patch? Will this be a perminant issue? I definatly think second opinions are best, however, what can I expect to hear from her doctor before he talk to him??

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My nephew had a lazy eye. The doctor put the patch over his strong eye to help the lazy eye catch up. He did not always wear it but it is much stronger than before.

We had to do the patch with my son. It wasn't that bad. He wore a patch over the good eye for 30 to 35 minutes a day for about 12 weeks. Now he is fine. I work take her to the pedi eye doctor as soon as possible.

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My now 5 yo daughter had a similar problem. We ended up with Dr beauchamp in Grapevine after seeing another doctor who immediately suggested surgery. With Dr Beauchamp we have patched her for over a year and her vision has improved in her bad eye from 20/150 to 20/40 with her glassed. Her eye only drifts now if she is not wearing her glassed and is very tired. The younger the better to start treatment. I really didn't like the idea of surgery until everything else was tried. The staff at Dr Beauchamps office is wonderful and this is their specialty. Good luck and I hope you get the answers that you need.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello! I had a lazy eye and it first appeared when I was about 2 yrs old. We ended up seeing the Eye Dr and he did my surgery. I had 3 eye surgeries from the ages of 3-6 yrs old. First they floated outward, then crossed and finally PERFECT! I am now 32 yrs old and have never had any issues with it. I use to wear a patch as a child as well. It's not a big deal over all. Since I was only a child then I can't tell you what to expect to hear from the Dr. But I wanted to send you some hope knowing that I have gone through this and my eyes are just fine :) God Bless

Hi K.,
Well, I have a lazy eye so here is my perspective. I was diagnosed at 2, did the patching, and my mom did not know surgery was an option. After the child is a certain age surgery is no longer an option for this. I have horrible vision in my lazy eye although the eye is straight. The problem is not just the eye, it is also and mainly the brain. When the brain sees that the one eye is not as strong, it stops using that eye and the part of the brain designated to that eye will actually start to die due to not being used. Here are some other issues I am having:
*the diameter difference in my eyes (my 'good' eye is not really that good now either but is not lazy) requires that I wear contacts. I have glasses but they are very expensive and I do not feel safe to drive them very far---lots of glaring and easily dizzy despite high tech elements in lenses.
*With correction my other eye is definitely stronger, contacts do not do much at all for the lazy eye. Actually I can go without wearing it and can't really tell a difference. Lazy eyes are not really correctable with contacts.
*I can not see 3D---even with the glasses on.....since the brain is not using that eye, I will not be able to see 3 D.
*the doctor won't recommend lasik for me due to the slim, ever so slim chance that something would happen to my 'good' eye and being left with my lazy eye would not be good. When the benefit out weigh the risks we will look into it again.

I have had my children looked at since they were 6 months old; we have used Dr. Stager Jr in Plano. So far they are good. My 5 year old does not have a lazy eye, and we will still check the 4 year old again this year. I would have to say though that I would opt for surgery if it was at all an option just because of what I go through with my vision. I am not big on medicine and all that, but when it comes to effecting the brain, I feel like it has to get fixed all the way.

It is permanent, at least untreated, and it is genetic. My mom has it too.

Hang in there,

Well, you have to figure out what the exact problem is. My eyes were crossed when I was born, requiring surgery. My mother and brother both had "lazy eye' which also required surgery. My oldest daughter did too, and given our family history, we immediately did surgery. Why?? Well, because the problem with our family is that the muscle that controls the eye was too long, causing it to drift..esp when we are tired. The surgery was fairly simple, they went in and cut the muscle and reattatched it. My daughter was 5, and does not remember it. She was uncomfortable at first, esp coming out of the anesthesia, but within a day or two it was no big deal. We used Dr. Eric Packwood and were very happy with the experience. Good luck!!

I had one, too. It was the early 1960's and surgery was a little too brutal (now, everything is microscopic) so they used to patch my good eye. The good news is, I didn't lose the sight in my bad eye. Bad news is, I never developed normal depth perception.
But I'm perfectly O.K. now, and I don't notice the slight depth perception issue because it turns out the brain uses many types of cues to judge where things are. I can't play center field but I can shoot in video games, drive a car of course, etc. So try to just take a deep breath & realize this will work out O.K. Everyone, including my kids, has some slight struggle .

We had to do the patch with my son. It wasn't that bad. He wore a patch over the good eye for 30 to 35 minutes a day for about 12 weeks. Now he is fine. I work take her to the pedi eye doctor as soon as possible.

HI Katy, there are two ways to go - either surgery, but this could fail because the reason for the lazy eye was never addressed... or you can go with developmental optometry - in which the co-rdination of the two eyes is addressed in the setting of the whole body co-ordination. It is the co-ordination of the muscles of the two eyes that is the problem, after all. If you research this topic on the internet you'll find masses of info. I know there's a great optometrist in New Jersey - Dr Melvyn Kaplan... maybe you could start there.?

Does there eye drift outward or inward?

My son has a lazy eye, however it isn't visible. He just has one eye that doesn't work. He's been wearing glasses and a patch for a few months now, and it has improved.

I have a family member who had a visibly lazy eye when she was a toddler. She had surgery to fix it. I think she's had one additional surgery since then. She's 17 now, and has no problems that I know of. She's a beautiful girl.

My granddaughter recently had surgery for lazy eye. Dr. Stager (Plano) is the BEST, as most pedi's will tell you. I would let him look at her and determine what she needs.

His father did the same surgery on my son at age 11 mos. He's now 31 and doing great!

Definitely talk to your ped. and most he/she will recommend a pediatric eye specialist. My son has gone to Dr. Packwood since he was about 15 months old and has worn glasses since. He has strabismus (sp??) and ended up having surgery about 9 months later at a children's surgery center. He had both eyes "straightened" and his left eyelid lifted. The entire surgery lasted 30 min. He doesn't remember it at all. Like someone else posted coming out of anesthesia was rough, but he mostly layed in my lap all day. The next day he was better--looked like he had been in a fight, but was feeling better and he healed very well. He still wears glasses because he is far sighted. BUT, my ped did say that this is something that you do have to correct otherwise if one eye is not working correctly that the brain will eventually "stop using". Obviously, I am explaining this very simply, but definitely get it checked out.

I teach Kinder and have had a few kids come through my classroom over the years with lazy eyes. Ever child I have taught always wears an eye patch covering the good eye so that the lazy eye can become stronger. Usually the child only wears it for a handful of months. I would expect to hear about a patch. I don't ever remember a child needing surgery. Best of luck! And yes, it usually corrects so this won't be a life long problem. And at 2 she will hardly remember it. :)

My son has the same thing and we see Dr. Alan Norman in Fort Worth. He is also in with Dr. Packwood as a previous poster suggested. He is awesome and great with kids. My son's lazy eye is being corrected with glasses first and if it doesn't take care of it (which thankfully, it is) then he may need surgery. You will love Dr. Norman and staff.

My nephew had a lazy eye. The doctor put the patch over his strong eye to help the lazy eye catch up. He did not always wear it but it is much stronger than before.

I am an adult with a 'lazy eye' I was born with it and had surgery a few times before age 6 and after that my parents opt to not do anymore. As an adult I have had surgery 2 times and I know when I have issues. I can feel my eyelid dropping. It was not really an issue growing up or in high school and I was never teased or anything about it. As an adult I have done more research and found other options outside of surgery. I would recommend that you see many doctors and listen to them all before making any decisions for your daughter but it is not a major life changing problem to have. Dr Herrington in Dallas is who I see and I love him. I also have had a few different types of surgery and if you want to know more about the differences and the one I recommend vs the ones I wish I would have opted out of just message me I am more than happy to share stories or pictures. Most importantly understand its not a problem if you dont do anything too!

My brother and sister both had lazy eyes. The sooner you have it diagnosed and treated the better. My brother wore a patch, but did not start until he was about 5. His never completely cleared up. My sister was younger and so my parents knew to get her in early. She had surgery around age 3 and was cured. Take her to your pedi and get a referral soon.

My husbands family had a huge history of lazy eye's so when my son started developing one we immediately started getting things done. I started with going to a regular Opthamologist, then he referred me to a Pediatric Opthamologist. We did the patch for 6 months and at first it started to help, then it just got worse (we had check ups every 2 months). With the patch all we did was patch one eye for 2 hrs a day and then switch and do the other eye the next day for 2 hrs. They had really cool patches (they are stick on, kinda like a bandaid) with pirates, or sports, or moon. Or you could get plain patches. When we discovered that patching was no longer helping and his eyes were worse then we decided to do surgery (btw patching is effective only 40% of the time but there is no risk involved but surgery is usually 90-95% effective). We scheduled his surgery for a month later (but we could have scheduled it 2 weeks later). The surgery was done at a children's hospital and a week before the surgery we went on a tour where the walked us through everything that was going to happen. It eased a lot of my nerves. With surgery they do put the child completely under, our surgery lasted an hour. When he came to he was in a good amount of pain and was a little scared (anesthesia can do that to you) but after some Lortab and staying in the hospital for an hour we took him home and like 6 hrs later he was back to himself again. My son just had surgery on one eye, that eye was bright red (the whites of the eye I mean) for about a week. He only had Lortab once in the hospital and once that night (he hated it so we stopped giving it to him) from then on he had Ibprofen for about 5 days continuously. By about that time forward he only asked for drugs before bed for 2 more nights. Ever since then he's been fine. His eye is hardly even pink anymore (2 weeks ago today we had the surgery). I took him in for a post surgery checkup a week ago and the doctor said his eye was looking really straight and we're going in for the 2 week check up tomorrow but his eye looks awesome now. It was so worth trying the patching (I hated watching him come out of anesthesia and being in pain) but since that didn't work I'm glad I did the surgery. He's a tough kid and he can do it. If you have any questions about it at all please feel free to send me an email lizardping44 at gmail dot com. I just went through this and I started getting him diagnosed at 2 1/2. His eye didn't do it constantly but enough that I noticed but I couldn't get a regular opthamologist to see it but he believed me enough for a follow up visit 6 months later (finally saw it) and then referred me to pediatric opth. The pediatric opth immediately saw it and so we were able to start patching at that point. Good luck.

I am not Dr. and certainly don't know the particulars of your daughter's case, however, I would caution against any hasty decision in favor of surgery without clear proof that there was something very unusual like a tumor causing the problem. It is my understanding that most Lazy Eye is the result of a "relatively weaker" muscle in one eye and that it can be handled through the use of an eye patch for a period of time and/or eye exercises. Your daughter may be a bit young for the exercises - I don't know. I do know the exercises are really simple things and don't seem like much but they do work. I have been closely involved with several people who had the problem and did the exercises and it solved the problem. If the underlying cause of the problem is still there (like much better vision in one eye than the other and not wearing corrective lenses) the Lazy Eye may start up again - in which case a few weeks back on the exercises usually stops it. Again, my advice is based on personal experience with people with the problem, I'm not qualified in this field, but I would be worried about anyone who tried to pressure me into surgery as a "quick fix" when there are good non-invasive ways to deal with the issue.

You need to find a vision therapist. I don't know how young they start working with them. But I would think they would want to put her in glasses at least now. Their muscles have to be trained to work correctly. I just started my 7 year old in vision therapy since we just found out he has one eye that turns in and I had to do it when I was younger. I am not sure where you are from but if you are interested his Dr. is in Garland. I can give you his information.

Good luck with what ever you decide to do and God Bless!

If you will find an optometrist who specializes in Vision Therapy, this can easily be corrected w/o surgery. My cousin had crossed eyes, had surgery that did not correct the problem, THEN had vision therapy and that did correct it! My own child had convergence problems and was also corrected by VT. I highly recommend it!!!

We did the patch but my daughter is older (5). I think that they only do surgery as a last resort. Have you been to a pedatric eye doc? Take care of it early because she may not have bad eyes yet and they can correct to be normal. With my daughter she was older and now we have corrected the lazy part but she still has very bad eyesight (she needs to wear glasses all the time). Also we bought cute cloth patches online. Cant remember the web site, I just googled it. They just slide onto the glasses if she is wearing glasses otherwise the patches are kinda like a bandaid which might be better for an 18 month old.

Good luck

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