6 Year Old Has Weak Eye Muscle

Updated on March 18, 2011
K.B. asks from Ottawa, IL
10 answers

My son started Kindergarten this past fall. I took him to the eye doctor (as required by the state) and the dr. said the my son has a weak eye muscle in his left eye. She said he can see far away just fine. She did the pen test (where they hold a pen straight out from your face a bring it in closer to your nose and eyes and your supposed to focus on the tip of the pen) and said that his eyes are not coming together at the same time. That the left on kind of wanders. She said he needed reading glasses and to bring him back in 6 months to see if the muscle gets stronger. Well 6 months passed and when we went back to the eye dr she did the exam and then the pen test again. Same thing, can see far but weak muscle. She said the problem hasnt gotten worse but hasnt gotten better. So new reading glasses but this time left lens a little stronger. She also said to make sure he wears glasses when working at desk, computer or even when looking at blackboard or watching tv. If he can see far just fine then why does he need to wear READING glasses to see the blackboard that is far away? When we got home I did the "pen test" on my son it seemed to me that it was fine. So I did it to my hubby who has perfect vision. Had the exact same results. The eyes go cross. And mine do too. Has anybody went through this??

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

...i have been taking him to the eye dr at walmart. No he doesnt have a lazy eye. When you are wearing reading glasses and look at something far away is the object just as clear as it is when you are not wearing the reading glasses. I dont know if i believe this eye dr and am definitely going to get a second oppinion. My son says he doesnt like wearing the glasses because they make his eyes hurt. He DOES NOT have a lazy eye.

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

My daughter had the same problem. I stood behind the doctor while she tested DD eyes. I could see the eye move away when the pen came close to her eye. We did vision therapy for a convergence insufficiency for about 9 months. It helped. DD was seeing double when she would read because her eyes wouldn't focus. She still uses a ruler to help her eyes focus when she reads. I was told at the time that glasses wouldn't help, that the eye muscle needed to be strengthened. I totally recommend a second opinion. Good Luck!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

Sorry you are not a trained doctor, I wouldn't expect you to have any idea what you are doing or looking for. Please don't ignore this, lazy eyes have to be corrected before they are 8-10 or they can be permanent.
Take him to a actual doctor, not just the guy at walmart.
A Pediatric Ophthalmologist.

A great resource for kids and glasses littlefoureyes.com

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

did you take him to a pediatric eye doctor. what if he has lazy eye? he would then need to have the good eye patched to make the other eye work better. I would do what the current doctor says and wear the glasses. He is far sighted and so am I. I see far away fine. When I am on the computer or reading the eyes are more comfortable with my glasses on. He has a convergence issue, which means that his eyes are not working well together so the reading glasses will help. He could have two issues an convergence issue and lazy eye. If you are not happy then please get a second opinion. I work at Lenscrafters and have been there for six years,have gone to school for opthalmic science so I have some experience seeing these issues with children.



answers from Chattanooga on

I would listen to the doctor... she has been trained on what to look for, and will check on things you wouldn't even notice. The reading glasses force his eyes to focus differently, which would strengthen the eye muscle. He can still see it fine, but his eye would work harder and thus strengthening it. My little cousin had the same thing when he was 4. He had to wear the glasses for about 1.5 years (of course, at his age it was harder to keep them on...) It's especially important to fix any eye problems now, when the eyes are young and developing, than to let it become a permanant issue.

~after reading your update... I would still keep him wearing the glasses, but definitely schedule that 2nd opinion. My cousin didn't have Lazy Eye either... he had pretty much the same exact thing you described your son as having. One eye just didn't 'travel' as fast as the other, and didn't focus as quickly. The glasses DID fix the problem for him though... but yes, they gave him headaches at first too. I get headaches when changing my prescription glasses as well, so it's to be expected when making a visual change. Once he gets used to them, they will stop giving him headaches.



answers from Chicago on

I agree to get a pediatric opthamologist for a second opinion. My daughter has issues with her eyes and the clinics at Walmart, Meijer, etc. aren't able to do anything other than give her a prescription for glasses, which is NOT what she needed.

The reading glasses may be forcing his eye to focus harder and strengthening it, but I would still go for a second opinion with an expert in the field, preferably a peds one.



answers from Chicago on

When in doubt, get a 2nd opinion! Take him to his pediatrician, tell him your concern. They can check there and maybe refer him somewhere else.



answers from Chicago on

pen test? Really? I go to a pediatric opthmalogist and she doesn't use a pen to test this, she uses instruments that measure such things. To base this on a pen test is stupid, find a new eye doctor!
Anyway, when my older daughter ended up needing glasses cause one eye was weaker she patched the strong eye and wore glasses. It took 3 yrs but she got all better and does not need glasses anymore, in fact her eyes are BETTER then 20/20 now. The eye doctor said that was very rare to have the lazy eye correct completely, but if they do the patching consistently then it can happen.



answers from Jacksonville on

My son's left eye (right eye too just not as bad) wanders and he has had glasses for it since he was 2yrs old. It has improved over the past 2 yrs and we are glad other wise surgery would have been done to tighten the muscle behind th eye. His eye does get all crazy like when he is really tired though some times. Anyways, talk to his Eye Dr about dilating his right eye to weaken it. This will force the weaker eye to work harder to come into line. It's the same concept as putting a patch over the stronger eye. We have done this to my son a few times. 1 drop a day for 2 weeks and it will leave the eye dilated for almost another 3 after the drops stop. We always have to watch his eyes in the summer time because of him not wearing his glasses as much with swimming and what not. He also has to wear his glasses all the time, not just when reading or Tv watching. They are a simple and equal far sighted script too. We moved not too long ago and he has seen a new eye Dr since (not a ped this time) and she read all the reports from his previous Ped eye Dr and said she is content to keep him on the same path that DR had recommend unless something major would change and we'd go from there.

Don't be afraid to seek a second opinion either and go to a Ped Eye Dr if you can too.
Good luck!

Edit: i would definitely get another opinion if you are using walmart then! They only thing I use their vision services for are the 10 dollar frames for my sons glasses!!!


answers from Eugene on

K. take your son to another eye doctor and leave the glasses in your purse.
Weak eyes get better through exercise not glasses.



answers from Chicago on

I highly recommend Dr. Michael Kipp at Wheaton Eye Clinic. They have offices in Wheaton and Naperville. He is a Pediatric Opthamologist. Lazy eye is a serious condition, and if your son has it you should correct it immediately. Typically, it is treated not with reading glasses, but by patching (covering) the good eye to force the weak eye to work harder and strengthen. Unfortunately, if there is one eye that is significantly weaker, the brain will stop using the weak eye and it is possible to completely lose sight in the weak eye by around age 8 if this is not treated. If patching does not work then a simple surgery will straighten the eye (some muscle is tightened I think but I'm not sure.) Anyway, please don't mess around with this -- vision is so important! Plus, kids vision can be so much harder to figure out than adults. Good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions