Monday, January 26, 2015

Our new journey with a far-sighted preschooler and amblyopia ...

My little cutie has new glasses. I think it was God who prompted me to ask the eye doctor to take a look at her eyes when we were in for our yearly eye exams. I had just noticed that sometimes one eye turned in a little bit, especially when she was tired. I didn't expect to be told she actually needed glasses, and that she would need to wear a patch for 1-2 hours each day.  Farsightedness and amblyopia. Thankfully, any strabismus (eye turning in) is very minor and we primarily need to work on strengthening her weak eye.

This has been a new experience for us. None of our children have needed glasses at such a young age before. Our children who do have glasses are near-sighted, not far-sighted. This is also our first time patching with one of our children. V is a very active and determined little four year old. We felt like she'd pull off a pirate-style eye patch with a band, because it would bother her.  I worried that she'd react to the adhesives if we put disposable patches on her every day.

With all that in mind, I went looking for a patch that would attach to her frames and found They had affordable, comfortable looking patches that could be either bought with embroidered designs on them or iron-on designs. We went with the iron-on style since they were less expensive. We bought 3 of them in two styles, partly because she couldn't make up her mind on designs, and partly so we could have back-ups in case they went missing. I also wanted to try both styles to see which ones worked better and were more comfortable. So far I like them both, but she seems to prefer the pocket style.

She's doing really well about keeping her glasses on throughout the day and looking through them. They fit really well and haven't been an issue at all. But wearing her patch lost its excitement after the first couple days. It's hard work for her weaker eye (I don't like the term lazy eye) to focus and she starts trying to peek around it or pull her glasses up or down. I'm aiming for lengthening her time period slowly.

This morning she wore it for half an hour before she started trying to lift her glasses up or down. Her brothers had her watching a video on a tablet, though, and I think that the video-movement was too much work for her eye. I reminded them that looking at books, coloring, or doing workbooks would probably be easier on her eye. So we exercised her eye another 10 minutes and then we told her she could rest her eye and take the patch off. We will need to exercise her eye again sometime today. I am trying to use those terms to remind her of why she needs to wear the patch.

We were really impressed with Patch Pals. They shipped the very next day and included a brochure that has pictures of other kids in their patches, as well as a little membership card that the child can sign promising to wear their patch to help make their eyes healthy and strong.  When Steve saw that he said, "Now that's a class act!"  They also have a facebook page for families to find support and encouragement. We showed her other kids in their patches to help her understand what was going to happen before they arrived. She asks to see other kids in their patches sometimes.

We still have to figure out the best ways to get her to wear her patch each day. For now, I'm content trying to work up to the recommended 1-2 hours. She has a follow-up appointment next week to see how she's doing.

Since I do write sponsored reviews, I wanted to let you know that this post is NOT a sponsored review. We're very pleased with the patches we bought and the service from Patch Pals. I didn't even intend to talk about them when I started to share about our new journey today. But I did want to mention them in case any other families are looking for solutions for amblyopia.

At least V no longer has a problem with bowed legs. She outgrew that, and I'm hoping and praying that she outgrows this problem, as well.

April E.

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