I get asked this a lot, either in the form of “Does she really need those?” or “How did you know she needed glasses?” or my personal favourite – “Why do you make your baby wear glasses?” – oh, I dunno,’cos head bands are so last season. As you can no tell by the not so thinly veiled sarcasm, I only take two out of the three questions seriously. So…
Does she really need them?
Yes, she really does. In September, she was diagnosed – by two leading paediatric opthalmologists* – with a Congenital Squint (Strabismus) due to the fact that her left eye is ‘extremely’ farsighted, making it hard to focus using both eyes so she ‘turns off’ her left eye and favours the ‘normal’ (straight) right eye. This article does a much better job of explaining the whole squint thing and answering another question I get asked often… “Won’t she just grow out of it?” So if you’re interested, have a read.
How did I know she needed glasses?
I didn’t. When Little was about 5-months old my sister, who happens to be an Occupational Therapist, mentioned that she ‘might’ have a squint. I was horrified. I mean, this was my perfect child whom I’d conscientiously done all the recommended tracking exercises with since, well, she was a new, new newborn. I’d read somewhere that it was ‘normal’ up until six months, so I crawled back into that cozy little place called ‘denial’. Then, at her 6-month check up the paediatrician wrote down the names of two opthalmologists and said “It may just be a pseudo squint but best you get it checked out.” Looking back, I knew something wasn’t right. I took (and deleted) many a photo that revealed her ‘lazy eye’ in all its wonky glory.
On the 1st of September, we had our second appointment* with the first** opthalmologist, who – long story short – confirmed that she had a squint, added that it’s ‘not the kind she’ll grow out of’, wrote out a rather complex prescription for glasses and gave me an order form for the patching ‘she’d need an hour a day’. And, off we went to the optometrist to pick out frames for her #littlelenses
* He couldn’t diagnose her properly during the first appointment because her eyes weren’t playing ball so he prescribed Atropine eye drops and ointment, which we’d need to ‘give’ her for three days (morning and night) before her next appointment, at which point her eye muscles would be sufficiently relaxed for him to make an accurate diagnosis. (PS: Blurring your kid’s vision for three days and dilating her pupils as if she’d taken a whack of recreational drugs is not cool #justsaying)
** We chose to get a second opinion. The second opinion confirmed the first opinion 100%. We’ve chosen to stick with both Docs for her next appointment/s in November so that, should surgery be on the cards, we can pick the surgeon we feel most comfortable with rather than scrambling onto a waiting list and scrumming to get an appointment.