Friday, September 7, 2007

Abby's eyes

My oldest daughter has my eyes. They are the same shape and same green color as my own. There is something else that she inherited along with my eyes though.

I had a lazy eye when I was growing up - it drifted outward. The eye doctor tried to correct it by having me wear glasses that blurred my good eye in order to strengthen the muscle of the weak eye. It didn't work - because I refused to wear the glasses. I mean, why would I want to wear glasses that made it harder to see, not easier? At least that's what my young mind thought. And they were, in a word - ugly - too. So the doctor suggested that my mom put drops in my good eye in order to accomplish the goal instead.

I still vividly remember my parents chasing me through the house and holding me down to put the drops in. I know now that they were just trying to do what the doctor told them to, but at the time it was very traumatic. I can't stand eye drops to this day. But - they worked. My eye hasn't drifted since.

Abby's issue isn't exactly the same as mine. Ron first noticed her left eye 'jumping' just slightly. Then she failed her vision screening during 3-year-old preschool and our pediatrician ended up referring her to an ophthalmologist. Who agreed that her eye was jumping slightly and that she is a bit farsighted but didn't think there was any real cause for concern at the time. She suggested that we wait and come back in about a year to re-evaluate.

Abby flunked the vision screening again during 4-year-old preschool. We mentioned it to our pediatrician - again. Who tested her vision - again. But there still wasn't really enough of an problem to warrant any kind of correction.

I remember the first time that Abby came up to us and told us that her "eye isn't working". And it wasn't - it was very noticeably crossed. This was in May of 2006 and she had just finished her 2nd year of preschool. Being a Saturday there wasn't much we could do, but we called our doctor's office and talked to someone who suggested that we take her back to the ophthalmologist. So as soon as we could get an appointment a couple of weeks later, we did. The eye crossing had gone away later that first day but had come back several times since and had gotten worse every time until it was crossing most of the time that she was awake. She told us that she saw double of everything when her eye was crossed.

(These were just a sample that she tried on - that's why her eye is still crossed)

This time the ophthalmologist recommended correction. Our little girl was getting glasses. It seemed so strange to me to see her in them for the first time. She was so proud of her new glasses though!

The problem with her eye is something called Accomodative Esotropia. Basically, she is farsighted (hyperopia) and has to do additional focusing in order to see clearly. The additional focusing causes her eye to cross. The glasses take the job of focusing away from her brain so that her eyes appear straight and she can still see clearly.

She may grow out of this, but if she hasn't by the time she hits her early teens, then she probably won't and will have to wear glasses for the rest of her life. Patching doesn't help this condition since patching is meant to help the vision, not the muscle control. And her vision is generally fine.

Abby has worn glasses for over a year now. Last spring we were concerned that her eye was still crossing, even with the glasses on - and the doctor changed her to a stronger prescription. She was thrilled to get new glasses! And they have helped immensely - at her appointment this past Tuesday, the doctor said that she is very satisfied with Abby's progress and there are no more changes needed at the moment. Since she had previously mentioned surgery as a possibility if the new prescription didn't help enough, we were very relieved to hear that so far it's not necessary.

Abby does look very cute in her glasses - I really like the new frames she got in the spring and think they're quite attractive. I'm used to seeing her in them now.

Hannah does not have my eyes and she has passed all of her vision screenings.

Becca has also inherited my eyes. So we wait and watch to see if she will have the same problems as Abby. And I wonder what my littlest girl would look like in glasses if she needs them someday.

Pretty darn cute, I'd imagine.

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12 wonderful people said...:

Kerry said...

She looks adorable in her new glasses. What a beautiful girl! :)

come clean said...

She is a beautiful young girl both with and without the glasses. Glasses are always somewhat tramatic for children because anything different can be a cause for teasing. Having them be happy and proud to be different is a indication that they are growing up strong and well adjusted -- as well a a compliment to the parents for taking the time to explain exactly why they are needed.

Corey~living and loving said...

I too, think she looks so cute in her glasses. I really like the shape of her most recent pair. What a doll! :)

~Amber~ said...

She is so pretty in her glasses!!!

Summer said...

She is very cute in her glasses! But I do hope she'll grow out of it.

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

Amazing what they can do to save vision. Kids hundreds of years ago wouldn't have the same benefits that Abby does!
She looks great in her glasses! Mike and I both had glasses starting in 5th grade. So far KT (in 8th) and Nick (in 5th) are fine. Well, vision wise.....they both have high eye pressures from Mike's history of glaucoma. So if it's not one thing, it's another! :)

mAsOn & tErrI's mOm said...

I think she looks adorable! Our neighbors youngest (my sons best friend)had the same problem. His eyes do not cross at all now that he has his glasses and is wearing them. The only problem now is Mason trying to copy him and cross his eyes b/c he wants glasses!

Believer in Balance said...

She looks very cute! Like anything, we always need time to adjust. She has beautiful eyes!

Write From Karen said...

Well bless her heart! I had never heard of that condition before. And what an optimistc, upbeat little girl you have there.

Please tell her that she looks gorgeous in her glasses (even a strange thinks so!) and that I wear reading glasses and am looking for new frames. May I borrow her look? *grin*

Christine said...

She does look very cute with her glasses. Those are some very cool frames.

Marissa needed glasses too because of a 'lazy eye'. Now she's a teenager and looking forward to wearing contacts.

Anonymous said...

I love her glasses, she is styling, as my Hannah would say. Abby is a beautiful girl, with or without the glasses, as are your other girls. My 2 girls have my eyes, but David's vision problems. I have never had to wear glasses, always and still have 20/20. David is was always nearsighted (before his lazer surgery) and always wore glasses. Both Hannah and Melanie are nearsighted. Seems strange to me since their eyes looks so identical to mine, deep set, very brown. I know that is not how genetics works, but I was surprised when they needed glasses. They look cute in them, glasses, so they tell me, are very in right now, and they love picking out new ones every year. Had no interest in contacts, even thou they are old enough.

Hairx said...

She is really cute :).