smile4glaucoma

Smile for Glaucoma: an interview with the founders

I recently ran across The Smile Challenge: Smile for Glaucoma facebook page.  It aims to bring awareness to glaucoma and raise money for the Glaucoma Research Foundation by encouraging people to share photos of their smiles and stories about their experiences with glaucoma. The page is only a few months old, but has already reached hundreds of people around the world.  It’s a wonderful, upbeat, and very informative page that is definitely worth checking out.

I’ve gotten to know the founders of the page, Sydney and Shweta, who are as lovely and wonderful as their page.  I asked them a few questions about the project, but first I wanted to give their stories:

shweta
Shweta

Shweta was diagnosed with glaucoma when she was 21 and working on her masters degree. She dropped out briefly, while not telling any friends why. She underwent multiple surgeries and was able to go back to school and finish her law degree.

Sydney
Sydney

Sydney was diagnosed with congenital cataracts when she was two weeks old. At two months old after a lens removal surgery she was diagnosed with aphakic glaucoma. As an infant she had six surgeries on her eyes. For the first 18 years, her pressures were controlled with drop. But at age 18 her pressure went up to 45 in the left eye and she had an ahmed shunt put into her left eye, and the same procedure on her right eye when the pressure went up to 35. The ahmed shunt in her left eye failed and she had a baerveldt shunt put into that eye. Her pressures have been stable since, however she developed uveitis recently in her left eye. After treatment with drops it thankfully seems to be fading away.

The page has been really inspiring to read and look at, I’m wondering where you got the idea to start the page?

Sydney: A friend in the glaucoma support group saw a post of mine in which I stated I was uncomfortable smiling in pictures. She posted a picture of herself smiling and challenged me to do the same. I challenge others in the group to do it as well and eventually it grew into The Smile Challenge. Shweta saw how big it was getting and created the page.

Shweta: I got this idea from Sydney, she was the one who started a challenge in our Glaucoma Support Group which she named The Smile Challenge. I created a page named Smile for Glaucoma to raise awareness about glaucoma and to raise funds for its research. Glaucoma is not known to many people in India, the lack of knowledge about this disease inspired me to create this page so that others could get to know whats it like to be affected by glaucoma and to let everyone know that there are many disease which do not have a cure and that they are serious in nature. Later Sydney and I teamed up and renamed the page The Smile Challenge: Smile for Glaucoma.

What is your main goal for the page?

Shweta: The first main goal is to create and spread awareness and information about Glaucoma, and we don’t want to do that by just telling people what glaucoma is or what happens after people are diagnosed with glaucoma and such but we want the world to know how glaucoma affects the lives of those suffering from it and inspite of all that, they manage to put up a big smile on their faces. The second main goal is to raise funds for the Glaucoma Research Foundation to help them in bringing the research a little closer to a cure for glaucoma.

Sydney: My main goal for this page is to raise awareness and support for glaucoma. I want people to understand not only what glaucoma is but what it’s like to live with it. My secondary goal is to raise money for an AMAZING organization dedicated to making life easier for glaucoma patients and to funding research for a cure. The Glaucoma Research Foundation is a wonderful foundation that I fully support.

What plans do you have for the page?

Shweta: The page focuses on the lives of people living with glaucoma and their stories about the fight against it, so we just want to keep spreading smiles and stories about the battles of visually impaired and blind community. We are also looking into turning this venture into a non for profit organization someday and hopefully work on raising awareness and funds on a higher level and will continue to share smiles and inspiring stories through the page.

How did the two of you meet?

Shweta: We have been a part of glaucoma support group but never really came across each other. When Sydney started this smile challenge in the support group, I thought of taking that idea to the next level and created this page, Sydney asked me if she could be a part of this and our partnership went on to become an amazing friendship

What would you tell a parent whose child had been diagnosed with glaucoma?

Shweta: Firstly, do not panic, get to know what the disease is all about and how its going to affect the child, ask as many questions to the doctor as you’d like. Be regular on medicines and check ups. And my personal advise to a parent is to be very careful in not letting a child feel that he/she has a disability. I believe no one should put a limit on ones ability, especially a child’s.

Sydney: What I want them to know is low vision or no vision your child can have a bright and independent future. There are many different organizations dedicated to helping those affected by this disease. We are always here to support parents with children diagnosed with glaucoma and they are more than welcome to message our page with any questions they have. If we don’t know the answer we will work hard to help them find it.

What do you want the world to know about glaucoma?

Shweta: Glaucoma is a serious condition in which you start losing your eye sight which once lost can never be regained. Glaucoma is incurable but if someone has glaucoma, their life doesnt stop, it only changes. I urge everyone to be proactive towards their eyes, if you do visit an eye doctor for whatever reasons, get your eye pressures checked as that is one key factor in diagnosis of glaucoma. For precaution, make it a priority to get your eyes examined at least twice a year.

Sydney: I want them to know that we are fighters. We hope for a cure but in the meantime we love and support one another in this journey.


Many thanks again to Shweta and Sydney for their time and their energy and their smiles!  If you haven’t already, take a look at their page for a great smile or follow them on Twitter.

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WSD2014

World Sight Day 2014: No More Avoidable Blindness

Today is World Sight Day 2014.

 

avoidable blindness

World Sight Day is a day of global awareness of vision issues, the call to action for this year is one that’s near to my heart: No More Avoidable Blindness.

I’ve written before about how important it is for children to have their vision checked, and if they have an issue, to have it treated.  Untreated vision issues in children can lead to a lifetime of vision difficulties and even blindness.  It can affect their academics and their achievement and their quality of life.

I know I’ve shared this infographic before (which has since gotten a face-lift for the Great Glasses Play Day), but I’m sharing it again with some of my thoughts, because it is so relevant to preventing avoidable blindness.

uncorrected refractive

There’s a lot of reasons for this, but they’re all equally upsetting to me:

  • The vision problems aren’t caught.  Either because the child’s vision hasn’t been checked, or because a vision problem was missed during a screening.
  • Even when a vision problem is found, a lot of parents don’t take their child for a follow up appointment with an eye care provider, either because they cannot do so financially, they don’t understand the importance, or they don’t believe their child needs glasses.
  • Even when a child is given glasses, many are not wearing them a year later, usually because the glasses have been lost or broken.

I know that I can’t solve all these problems, and thankfully, there are a lot of great groups out there already that are working on these issues.  But I do think that we as parents here in the amazing Little Four Eyes community are in a unique position to help.

We’re doing some things already:

  • The community here at Little Four Eyes has helped many parents feel better about their child needing glasses, and I hope has inspired at least a few to go ahead and follow up with an eye appointment and getting glasses if they’re needed.
  • The annual Great Glasses Play Day each year in May is not just a day to get together to celebrate our kids in glasses, but it’s also a chance to raise awareness of just how important it is to catch and treat vision issues early.

But I know there is more that we can do.  I’d love to connect other parents who are interested in spreading awareness with childrens’ librarians and early childhood educators to help get the word out to parents before they take their child to a screening or exam.  And I know a lot of you probably have great ideas and connections, and I’d love to hear about them!

More reading:


6bee2-2014-04-0417-33-45

Your stories: The kid in the green glasses

Huge thanks to Melissa for sending in this post, which covers one of my favorite topics: self-portraits of kids in glasses.  It ran originally on her blog, A Boy, His Brother, the Mischief they Find.  – Ann Z


The kid in the green glasses.

Just as it always does, the artwork hanging outside the classroom caught my eye. I began scanning the pictures looking for his name, not noticing the details of the pictures at first. Upon closer reflections, I realized there was a jumbled mess of “the same”-eyes, peachy circles, blobs of hair.

“Maybe he didn’t do one,” I thought. “It must have been a project on a day he wasn’t here.”

And, then…this.

My heart skipped a bit at this face.

So many emotions.

That is my kid; The kid in the green glasses is mine.

Every single other picture could be any kid in the class-2 dot eyes, a line of hair, routine kid faces.
But, there is no mistaking those green circles.

“He did a great job, didn’t he?” asked the teacher. “He really captured himself.”

Did she feel what I did?

HE DOESN’T HAVE A PATCH ON IN HIS SELF PORTRAIT.

And, he is very proud to be rocking some awesome green glasses.

This will be framed, in my house, for the rest of my life.

I am so crazily torn up about this picture because I had no inking that we would ever be at the point* where we are now.

*The point=patching vacation, “guaranteed success”, amazing because my kid doesn’t even see the patch as a part of who he is.

Please remember that the first PO we saw flat out said, “He will never be normal” in reference to my baby son. “He will never see well out of his left eye, he will probably not drive & he will always wear incredibly thick lensed glasses that make him look like a bug.” (She did no say the bug part, but she might as well have said it because that is what everyone was thinking) I still shudder at this woman who very clearly was not a mother because WHO SAYS THAT TO SOMEONE??

My fear (beyond the whole blindness thing) was that he would be made fun of, that he would be “the kid in the glasses.”

 It turns out I was right.

“That kid in the green glasses is fearless! He would run through a brick wall if he needed to!” was a comment I overheard at a soccer game.

Followed by, “Watch how fast that kid in the green glasses is when he runs.”

And, then there were the comments at t ball.

“You have to be quick when that kid in the glasses is around if you want to get the ball.”

“I think that kid in the glasses is going to get the ball every time.”

Hmmm.

I didn’t quite (ever in my wildest dreams) imagine that these would be the “glasses” comments I would hear.

Clearly my kid’s ability to occasionally get the ball at a “game” is not any indicator of his later success as an athlete or scholar or non-nose picker, but it is an indicator that he is beyond amazing for overcoming a significant vision problem, access to only one eye for the majority of his life and, let’s be honest, a neurotic mother.

I am so proud of him.


WSJFront

Great article in The Wall Street Journal on toddlers in glasses

WSJ
Sept. 24, 2014 issue of The Wall Street Journal

Last week, The Wall Street Journal ran a fantastic article about having a toddler or baby in glasses.  Head on over there and read it if you haven’t already done so.  I think it’s a great piece to share with family or friends who have questions about why your child might need glasses, or why that might be a difficult thing.

The journalist, Ellen Byron, spoke with me for quite a bit about my experiences with having a 1 year old in glasses, and also about what I’ve learned from hearing from all of you.  She also spoke with quite a few other parents and eye care professionals.  There’s an accompanying video and some great pictures, too.  Take a look!

that's my hand...holding my book!

Glasses Board Book giveaway!!!

2Some glasses are red,

Some glasses are blue,

I think your glasses look great on you!

- excerpt from Glasses, a board book

I’m thrilled that Peeps Eyewear and Eye Power Kids Wear are celebrating the recent release of Glasses with a huge rainbow-themed giveaway!

 Why rainbows, you ask?

1.  The Glasses board book features kids wearing glasses in tons of different shapes and sizes and every color of the rainbow! Here at Peeps, we just love the idea that glasses can help a child express his or her personal style.

glasses board book

2.  Rainbows symbolize hope and acceptance. For many young children, glasses are a hard adjustment; they’re a new (and sometimes uncomfortable) thing to wear on your face and many times children don’t know anyone else their age who wears them.  “Glasses” shows kids that glasses can be a normal part of childhood, and how glasses can be fun.  We think that the moment a child understands that and feels better is like a rainbow after the storm.

princess annie with rainbow

3.  Rainbows are just plain fun! They’re bright and colorful, and it’s so exciting when you get to see one in the sky. Even Princess Annie loves rainbows!

Peeps Eyewear is partnering with Little Four Eyes and our friends at Eye Power Kids Wear to bring you this great big Glasses giveaway! The winner will receive:

1 copy of Glasses to keep

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1 copy of Glasses to donate to your favorite library, preschool or optical shop

glasses a board book

A pair of frames from the Peeps Eyewear Online Store: choose from genuine Miraflex frames in any color of the rainbow OR our Princess Peeps frames

miraflex blue

princess peeps frames

A t-shirt of your choice from Eye Power Kids Wear

eye power kids wear tees

How to enter:  Use this Rafflecopter to enter.  Leave a message in the comment section with these two pieces of information: your favorite color, and the name of the library, preschool, optical shop or organization where you’d like us to donate the book.

Extra credit (just for fun): Share the giveaway on FB, Twitter or Pinterest and tag the library, preschool or optical shop so that they know you’re trying to win a copy for them! We can spread the word that glasses are great, and brighten everyone’s day with pictures of the smiling kids from the book.

glasses board book kids

Thanks for spreading the word about the wonderful board book, Glasses!

peeps eyewear rainbow

badge2

Eye-Power-Kids-Wear-logo-2


glasses

Milestones to celebrate when you have a child in glasses

Recently, Zoe had an eye appointment and we heard something we’d never heard before: “come back in a year.”  A year?!?  Zoe has never in her life gone a full year without an eye appointment (her first was at 9 months old).  It’s thrilling and a bit scary all at the same time.  Her eye doctor explained that now that she was nearly 8, many of her visual pathways had matured, so the chances of developing amblyopia again are very, very small.  Certainly we will bring her in if she’s having trouble seeing, but otherwise, we’ve graduated to yearly eye exams!

It got me thinking of other milestones that you might get to celebrate if you have a young child in glasses, patches, or contacts (not all kids will have all the same milestones, and they won’t all happen in the same order).

Glasses milestones:

  • glassesThe first day she goes the whole day without taking her glasses off
  • The first day he asks for his glasses without prompting
  • The first year a pair of frames make it without being broken
  • The first year you go without a change in prescription
  • That appointment when the doctor says you don’t have to come back for 6 months
  • That appointment when the doctor says you don’t have to come back for a year

There’s patching ones, too:

  • patchingFirst day she goes patches for the whole time without complaining
  • First week of patching (you all survived!)
  • That appointment when the doctor says you can start weaning off the patching
  • That appointment when the doctor says you can stop patching

There’s some eye test ones

  • examFirst appointment when she was able to use an acuity chart (even if it was with symbols)
  • First appointment when he was able to read the chart with letters
  • First appointment when she got to do the “which is better, 1 or 2?”
  • First appointment when she could get her eye pressure read without doing an EUA

And some for contacts

  • contactsFirst day you got the contacts in without tears
  • First day you got the contacts out without tears
  • First day she put her contacts in by herself

What other milestones have you hit with your child?  And what milestones are you looking forward to?


2ndopinion

Your stories – the benefits of a second opinion

Many, many thanks to Laura from Oakland Avenue Blog for writing about her experiences with her son getting glasses, and their choice to get a second opinion.  I’ve always recommended a second opinion if you’re ever unsure or just don’t feel like you’ve gotten your questions answered.  – Ann Z


2ndopinion

About a month and a half ago, my husband and I found out our 14 month old son, Eli needed glasses. A pediatrician noticed his left eye was slightly wandering and suggested we see a pediatric ophthalmologist, referring us to a couple doctors the pediatric practice typically works with.

Before making an appointment, I Googled around a bit to find reviews on the various practices recommended, but honestly my search didn’t turn up much, so I decided to just go with whichever one was closer to our home. Neither my husband nor I wear glasses, so we didn’t know what a typical eye appointment was like and we didn’t really know how to prepare. I knew from my research that my son would likely need a patch or glasses, or maybe even surgery, but since I had no idea what the issue was, I didn’t really know what issue to research!

At the appointment, we found out that Eli is farsighted and needed glasses. While the ophthalmologist was a wonderful and kind woman, Eli still cried throughout the entire appointment. Fighting her as she tried to check his vision, squeezing his eyes shut as she shined a light into them, and squirming and wiggling with all his might to get out of his father’s “loving hug” – er – full-body-straight-jacket-embrace, it was very hard for me as Eli’s mom to watch. It may have been because Eli was crying so much, or because I didn’t ask the right questions, but I found we left with very little information. The ophthalmologist wrote Eli’s prescription down on a little card, told us where a children’s eye glasses shop could be found, and wished us luck. The actual vision exam and “discussion” lasted 15 minutes at most.

As we walked out, I felt like I just had the wind knocked out of me with no one there to help me up. My husband and I were in a bit of shock that our son actually needed glasses and we kept thinking about how we knew nothing about glasses or vision, let alone about the world of children’s glasses! The next thing we knew, we were at the optical shop and another whirlwind began. Getting Eli fitted for glasses, choosing the color, shape, brand, transitions or clear lenses, etc., the questions came fast and furious and we were just making decisions off the cuff, trying to make the appointment as short as possible so we could get our son home to nap.

When we got home, all three of us were so emotionally exhausted, we all took naps. As the days went by and the reality settled in that Eli would be wearing glasses, I began to do more research. I eventually found Little Four Eyes, and found it so helpful and informative. The posts about finding an optical shop, explaining the prescription and how to get the glasses to stay on were all questions I was wondering about and I finally had answers. As I read through the questions to ask at a doctor’s visit I realized that I didn’t ask any of the questions suggested! I had no idea what the official name of Eli’s diagnosis was, what to watch for in between appointments, and more.

I knew I could call and ask these questions – again, I did like the ophthalmologist we originally saw – but I also had a nagging feeling that I shouldn’t have had to ask all of those questions, that she should have offered at least some of these answers. In addition, I had a few other moms with children in glasses suggest we get a second opinion after we told them about our experience and Eli’s diagnosis. A lot of people thought Eli should be wearing a patch, and many others mentioned how hard it is to measure a child-that-can’t-speak’s prescription, especially when they were being anything but cooperative – so they questioned the accuracy. The final straw was when my pediatrician saw Eli at his 15 month well-check and told me she was also surprised that he wasn’t wearing a patch for his wandering eye.

​While I did trust the first ophthalmologist when we started, enough doubts were planted that I figured a second opinion couldn’t hurt. At least then I’d know for sure what his diagnosis was (assuming they somewhat matched up) and I could also ask many of the questions I didn’t in the first appointment.

I made an appointment the following week ​at another pediatric ophthalmologist in town, and this time, I came prepared. Lots of food, drinks and toys, in addition a typed up list of questions on my phone that I wanted to ask about.

The second appointment could not have been more different from the first. Eli only had one short cry during the appointment. While he still fought the eye drops and squinted a lot at the lights, overall, he cooperated well with the doctor. Part of it may have just been the fact that my husband and I were much more calm since we knew what to expect, but I truly believe part of it was also the ophthalmologist’s demeanor and all the child-friendly tools he used. This particular ophthalmologist used a lot more toys in the various screening tests – such as a small batman figurine for Eli to track, a video clip with stuffed animals and lots of stickers for a job well done. Towards the end of the appointment, Eli was getting a bit restless, but the doctor still took time to talk with me about Eli’s diagnosis, telling me that he had accommodative esotropia and providing a sheet of paper with the diagnosis on it and where to go for more information.

Thankfully, the prescription for Eli’s glasses were the same as what the original ophthalmologist provided, but this doctor did suggest that we patch Eli’s stronger eye for at least one hour a day. In addition, this doctor took the time to not only answer my questions, but he provided much of the information I was looking for even before I asked, and left lots of time for us to discuss any other questions that remained.

While I would still say both ophthalmologist were great doctors, I’m so grateful we took time to get a second opinion. Partly because I know that I can be more confident in the care we’re providing for Eli,​ and partly because I feel like we got a “do-over” in some ways. Just like learning a new skill or exploring a new place, you’re always a little more comfortable once you’ve done or seen something before and you have a little more confidence in yourself and the situation.

For me and my husband, we had a lot of questions and fears about glasses when Eli was first diagnosed, and to be honest, we’re still learning to navigate this new world. Moving forward, we’ve decided to go with the second doctor, simply because Eli (and we) had a better experience – and we wouldn’t have known how good it could be had we not done it! I think I knew in the back of my mind that the first ophthalmologist’s diagnosis was correct, and that likely, we wouldn’t be “hurting” Eli if we didn’t patch right away. But as his parents, it gave us a lot more peace and confidence that we were doing all we could for our son and as an added benefit, we found an ophthalmologist that works better for our situation.

If you’re on the fence about getting a second opinion, I’d definitely recommend it – if only for your own piece of mind. You may find a doctor that you click with and trust a bit more – and you may find that you’re happy right where you’re at. But either way, I think you’ll leave with more confidence in your child’s care and the doctor you end up choosing – which is always worth it when it comes to our children.

How about you all? Anyone else have an experience in getting a second opinion?

​And if you’re curious, I have a couple other posts on my blog, Oakland Avenue, about the emotions and feelings involved when he was first diagnosed, and a FAQ.

3month

Frequently asked question: what does my child see? A few vision simulators with caveats

There’s a cliche of “looking through your eyes” as a way of trying to see the world as someone else might. It’s usually not meant literally, of course, but  it reflects our desire to understand how others see things. That’s certainly true when you learn that your child has a vision problem.  It’s very common to wonder how your child had been seeing.

what do you see4

Very young children don’t have the words to tell us what they want for dinner, let alone how they see.  Even older, more verbal kids have difficulty explaining how things look. It wasn’t until Zoe was 4 that she started telling me that things were fuzzy without her glasses. But the first time I really understood how she saw was after a trip to the science museum where she visited a human development exhibit.  They had glasses you could put on that approximated how babies’ vision develops in their first few months. “Mom, babies see really blurry they’re first month. Then at 2 months, they see the way I see without my glasses. By a year, they see how I see with glasses.”  Finally, I could put on glasses and see the world the way Zoe does with glasses.

If you can’t make it to a human development exhibit, there are quite a few online vision simulators that claim to let you see how another person sees, most are based on a person’s glasses prescription.  Of course, there are a lot of problems with even the best of these.  In fact:

A glasses prescription will not tell you exactly how a person sees

A glasses prescription will only tell you what shape the lenses on a pair of glasses or contacts should be in order to have the best possible corrected vision.  This is based on how much the shape of the eye differs from what it should be to see clearly (something called the refractive error).  Some (not all) of the reasons why someone may see differently than their glasses prescription implies include:

  • Hyperopic children can often compensate for much of their hyperopia, allowing them to see relatively clearly.  This does cause eye strain and can pull the eyes out of alignment, which is why glasses are still important.
  • Amblyopia is when a person does not see clearly even when glasses or contacts are correcting for the full refractive error.  Generally this is due to the brain suppressing the vision from one or both eyes.  It can be caused by the eyes not lining up, an eye having an injury, or one eye having a much stronger refractive error than the other.
  • There may be other problems in the visual system (either in the eye structures, the optic nerve, or the brain) that is causing vision problems.

One very simplified way of looking at it is imagining the visual system as a camera.  The lens of the camera may not be in focus, that’s the part that glasses can fix that.  But there are a lot of other components of the camera that may not be functioning correctly, and any one of them can lead to unclear vision.

Visual Acuity

The measurement that best describes how clearly a person sees is their visual acuity.  It is usually expressed as two numbers, like 20/20 or 6/6.  The first number tells you the distance at which the measurement was taken (20 or 10 is in feet, 6 or 3 is in meters).  The second number tells you how far away a person with good vision could be to see what you see clearly.

For example, the visual acuity of my left eye without glasses is around 20/200.  That means that what I see clearly at 20 feet away, a person with good vision would see clearly at 200 feet away.  (I do not see terribly well in that eye).  There’s a conversion chart here that converts between metric and US measurements as well as giving reading performance for those acuities.

If you’d like to see what a specific visual acuity looks like, there are a couple of options:

Wolfram Alpha will show you a simulation of any acuity you type in.  Simply type in the visual acuity with the word “vision”: in this case “20/200 vision” (if you don’t include the word “vision” it’ll just calculate the fraction for you).

20-200
Wolfram Alpha’s simulation of 20/200 visual acuity. I typed “20/200 vision” in the search box to get this.

Fork in the Road Low Vision Simulators are vision simulators that you can purchase and wear to see the effects of different eye diseases.  Their cataract simulators demonstrate reduced visual acuity.  On their website, you can see examples of the blur simulation for 20/80 (6/24), 20/200 (6/60), 20/400 (6/120), and 20/800 (6/240).  Scroll through the page to see the different acuities.

 Vision Simulators based on Prescription

As I mentioned, vision simulators based on a glasses prescription are flawed at best.   Even the very good ones will only show you an approximation of how someone with no other vision issues would see with that prescription.  That said, the simulators can give you a feel for how strong a prescription is and how your child might be seeing without glasses.

  • Eyeland Web Tools – there are different simulators for different refractive errors.  Many children have a spherical (hyperopia or myopia) component as well as an astigmatism component.  I like that these allow you to see how those different components affect vision.
  • Sehschärfen Simulator – this site is in German, but is still pretty straight forward to use.  One of the features is that it changes the simulation based on a person’s age, so that the effects of hyperopia (farsightedness / longsightedness) are reduced for young children.  This means if your child has a + prescription, you may think from this simulator that your child shouldn’t need glasses.  This simulator will not show you how much eye strain a child will have due to hyperopia.
    1. Enter your child’s age in the “Alter” box
    2. Enter the spherical and cylinder amounts
    3. Click “Berechnen”
    4. The top image is the simulated vision, the bottom image is what would be considered “normal” vision.

Other visual simulations of eye diseases

  • Fork in the Road sells vision simulators for many eye diseases resulting in low vision.  This includes cataracts (linked above), glaucoma, and more.
  • Inclusive Design Kit from the University of Cambridge also has a simulator for many vision problems.
  • Causes of Color includes a vision simulator for various types of color blindness and cataracts.

heartbreaking photo of glasses meet garbage disposal

 

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photo credit Gina Glorioso Rendall

Sometimes you see a photo, and read the explanation and your heart just sinks:

“Totally heartbroken – my one-year-old dropped his glasses down the sink and they went through the garbage disposal.”

Posted to the Little Four Eyes facebook group, shared here with permission.


book about

My book is published

I’ve posted a bit about the children’s book about glasses that I’ve been working on – it’s one that I held a Kickstarter project to raise the funding for.  Well I’m thrilled to say that the book has been published and is now available for purchase.  The whole experience has been fascinating, eye opening, way outside my comfort zone, but in the end, a really good experience. The project was largely inspired by the comments I’d gotten on the photo gallery page.  I had figured the photo gallery would be great for parents to see the range of glasses available for kids, but I hadn’t expected that parents would show their kids the gallery, and that kids would feel better about their glasses after seeing other kids like them in glasses.  I also remember how much Zoe loved looking at books with pictures of kids, and I wanted her to see kids who wore glasses just like she did.  And I was also a bit sick of books that talked about kids who hated glasses or who were teased about their glasses.  Those are definitely good stories to have, but they didn’t reflect Zoe’s experiences at all.

After waiting for 5 years for someone else to write a book that featured photos of kids in glasses, I finally decided that I was going to have to do it.  And luckily, I knew that my friend Kristin from Peeps Eyewear was just as interested as I was in helping kids in glasses, and since she had published a children’s book, she knew a lot more about the process and had the contacts to actually make it work.  She agreed to be my publisher, for which I am so very thankful. I’m thankful, too, for so many of you who backed the Kickstarter or shared the project or gave me support (I wrote a bit about Kickstarter here and here).  I was able to get funding to cover most of the up front costs (photo shoot, graphic design, printing, etc). We held the photo shoot for the book in January.  The daycare center that my children attend was gracious enough to let us use their classroom (with fun colorful toys, and huge windows to let in the sunshine) for the photo shoot.

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Our photographer, Heide, was simply amazing.  She worked hard and had a fantastic rapport with the kids.  And the kids were all amazing, too!  It was honestly a lot of fun –  just watching these kids play and have fun, and watching Heide work her magic to get some amazing shots, and meeting the parents and hearing all about their stories. Then came more work – choosing photos, working with the graphic designer, trying to get the print run to be true to color, getting an ISBN for the book… all sorts of things that I had never, ever dealt with before, so again, I’m thankful for Kristin’s help.

It took longer than anyone of us had expected, especially since we had to not only produce the book, but also the other rewards for the Kickstarter backers.  But now I can hold all that hard work in my hands!

that's my hand...holding my book!
that’s my hand…holding my book!

I have to say one more huge thank you to all of you out there for your support and inspiration for this book.  I don’t know how I can thank you all enough.

 


A community for family and friends of babies, toddlers, and young kids in glasses, eye patches, or contacts.

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