Patching again

So Willow had an eye appointment yesterday to check on how the glasses she is now wearing full time are helping her.  Well, the prescription is good for her, but her lazy eye is actually getting worse. We were told yesterday she has Amblyopia.  Now, that really is just a big word to mean 'lazy eye'; so not much new to that I suppose.  Yet the fact that it is not getting better leads us down a different path as well. If you check out this site here:  http://www.aapos.org/terms/conditions/21
It will help you understand a little more.  

Basically we thought she had a lazy eye due to something called Strabismic amblyopia, which is "when the eyes are not straight. One eye may turn in, out, up or down. When this happens, the brain “turns off” the eye that is not straight and the vision subsequently drops in that eye."  So we just thought that her muscles were not working properly in that eye and that glasses or patching as we have done in the past would fix it.  But after yesterday's testing we are finding that things are getting worse and it isn't just her muscles that are not working.  She also has refractive amblyopia and that is, "when there is a large or unequal amount of refractive error (glasses strength) in a child's eyes. Usually the brain will "turn off" the eye that has more farsightedness or more astigmatism. Parents and pediatricians may not think there is a problem because the child’s eyes may stay straight. Also, the “good” eye has normal vision. For these reasons, this kind of amblyopia in children may not be found until the child has a vision test. This kind of amblyopia can affect one or both eyes and can be helped if the problem is found early."  Refractive amblyopia refers to depth perception really; hers is off. It always has been to be honest. We have noticed that for quite some time. It isn't really pronounced on most days, but you can tell there is something slightly off.  But that also explains why some days she is more off balanced as well.  

So, we have another appointment in October and until then we patch her good eye to build up the lazy one.  To start it is 2 hours per day and then up from there. They left it pretty general as to how soon I move up the length of time, but today she had it on for about 3 hours and did okay.  Cried when we first put it on but dealt with it as well as possible. It is just slightly sad to know that she really doesn't see all that great out of one eye, and that her "brain is shutting it down" (doctors words actually).  I just wish for things to be well for her, and I know in the grand scheme of things this is minor - but when things like this happen after life has been going on so well it is like a blow to your gut and you have to remember to breathe but its hard.  

Willow will get past this as she has everything else, just by putting one foot in front of the other. :)  

All facts about Amblyopia were found from the site: 
American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Here are some random shots from our summer so far to leave you with: 



Comments

Sara Di Cocco said…
All too well do I know that blow to your gut feeling when you think things are going so well. Have they talked about or thought of a strabismus surgery? Weston had his surgery almost a year ago and he's doing so well!

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