opinions on second opinions?

This question comes from a comment from Ingrid.  Have you gone for a second opinion?  How do you reconcile when you get two conflicting opinions from two doctors? – Ann Z

Just on a different topic. I would love to hear peoples opinions on getting a second opinion! I explained this to Paris’s optometrist and he said “well I probably wouldn’t have done that, Dr Smith would not appreciate it I am sure!” I was quite taken aback as I am sure a lot of concedrned parents do the same! What do you think?

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46 responses to “opinions on second opinions?

  1. Haven’t sought the opinion of another PO yet, as N’s eyes have been stable thus far. But I have researched other PO’s in the area in the event.

    I myself wouldn’t hesitate for a second. Nothing should stand in the way of seeking second, or as many as necessary, particularly in light of some of the complexities shared within the blog.

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  2. In one of my first visits, the PO encouraged me to seek a second opinion if I ever wanted one (Did I say I love my PO?) She said, make sure to schedule it with a pediatric opthamologist as eyes and children are there specialty. She said that she has a list of several PO’s within a 4 hour drive of her office that she would consider “great” doctors.

    My hubbie and I talked that if things do not improve or surgery is more likely we will get a second opinion. I think a parents gut feeling is what you should listen too. If you are ever in doubt or feel like your questions are not being answered – I say – get a second opinion!

    If they don’t agree… I’d thank them anyway, take all the information home and have a long talk with your spouse or other family support group to decide what to do next.

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  3. Thank you so much for those responses. You know, my husband said the same when I told him. He thought it was perfectly ok and normal to go for a second opinion. I guess I needed confirmation in my own mind that it was in fact the correct diagnosis as we did not have long with him AT ALL. I did try to get another appointment with the original PO to ask questions and could not get in for months so I had no other option and when a cancellation became available at another top PO I took it! I have held off on filling the new script from this doc to see what the original PO says in two weeks. It will be very interesting. I have also heard that some PO’s will not give the full prescription for myopia as they try to build up gradually? It is all very confusing still at this stage. I am looking forward to asking more questions.

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  4. Our PO does not give the full perscription. Elly is a -7, but her perscription is a -5.75. They explained that they want her eyes to improve. I guess if the perscription is full strength, the eye won’t have to work as hard to see. Make sure you write down all you questions before you go and bring your hubbie or a friend with you to the appointment. That way if your little one gets antsy, they can take them outside of the exam room for a walk while you have some 1:1 time with the DR. I WISH I would have done this our first couple visits!

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  5. Thanks so much amomofelly! That is great to know. Yes, I have written down all my questions this time and my husband is going to come also so I can ask in peace! Do you know does myopia tend to get worse? My daughter is 14 months and -3 in the right eye. Plano in left. Just wondering becasue she is so young with a moderate amount of short sightedness now, can I expect it to get a lot lot worse!

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  6. I think you should feel 100% comfortable getting a second opinion. It is your child and your decision and if something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. Our first PO really did not like kids. He was terrible with my daughter, and acted frustrated that she was scared at her first appointment. He only liked the challenge of pediatric surgery, but not the actual appointments with the children. We have since found a new Dr. that is great with my daughter. It was really well worth the switch! Luckily in my case the second Dr. had the same opinion as the first…and a better personality! Good luck!

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  8. My 3 year old was examined by a optomitrist. Should I get a second opinion by a pediatric optomitrist? I am concerned his prescription may be too high. I noticed when he gets tired his eye for a short second looks like it turns in. Very worried about putting glasses too strong on him.

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    • Hi Trish, Usually eyes crossing is a sign that your child’s prescription is possibly not strong enough – kids will cross their eyes if they are farsighted in order to better focus. Is your son nearsighted, or farsighted? If he’s nearsighted, then it may be that the prescription is too strong, but if it’s only happening when he’s tired, it may not be a big problem.

      I would definitely recommend seeing a pediatric ophthalmologist or optometrist – someone that has special training in children’s vision and measuring children’s eye sight. If nothing else, it sounds like a second opinion would give you some peace of mind.

      Best of luck and let us know how things go!

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  9. Thanks Ann 🙂 I did not get his prescription filled yet. I took him just yesterday to a optometrist. She gave him a prescription for +575/+600, seemed really strong.

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  10. I just got off the phone with the doctors office and she said he has strabsmus and he is far sighted. His eye only turns in when he is very tired just for a second or two. It really concerns me. Maybe he needs more testing. Does she base tis off of his answers to testing? It did not seem age appropriate.example: How many layers on the cake? He is not going to know that. She did dialate his eyes. Did she get the answer from that?

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    • She should have based the prescription off of dilating his eyes and looking at the shape of his retina. The other testing sounds more like it was designed to make sure that he is seeing similarly out of both of his eyes (that is, not developing amblyopia where the brain ignores input from one eye).

      If possible, I would take him in to see a pediatric ophthalmologist for a second opinion. A prescription of +5.75/+6 is relatively but not severely strong – that was Zoe’s prescription at her strongest. If that is his prescription, then he probably should be in glasses.

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  11. We just found out our 20 month old daughter needs glasses. We live in a town that doesn’t have a PO so went to a regular Optomologist. We felt comfortable with him but were wondering if we should get a second opinion from a PO that would be a few hour drive for us. Our current thought is to see if things improve over the first few months and if not get a second opinion but are a bit torn about it. Any thoughts?

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  12. Similar to Emma, we just found out our 9 month old needs glasses. I took her in because of a history of lazy eyes in the family and I’ve noticed her eyes slightly cross (especially in pictures). Anyways it’s not that i don’t believe the optometrist I just want to be certain she needs glasses. Her prescription is a +4.0 in both eyes. What are your thoughts on a second option for another optometrist? I did make another appointment but was put off guard when she said usually they don’t see children under 2.

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    • Welcome Angela! I think a second opinion is absolutely fine, especially since you’re looking for some peace of mind. I would be wary of a place that doesn’t work with children under 2, though. Doing an exam with a baby is very different than one for a 2 year old, and I’d want to be sure I was seeing someone who is used to kids that young. I would check InfantSEE http://www.infantsee.org/ to see if there are Optometrists in your area that are used to working with babies, or check http://aapos.org to find a Pediatric Ophthalmologist in your area.

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    • Hi, i read you post and it seemed as if i was writing it myself.
      I just recently found out that my 10 month old baby boy needs glasses.
      He is farsighted and his eyes jerk sometimes and he has an unequal pupil size.
      I was devastated, there isnt any significant history of weak eye sight in our family
      so this came as a complete surprise.
      i took him to see a pediatric ophthalmologist because he was bringing things too near to his eye to see.
      He gave us a prescription, said everything else is fine but im thinking of getting a second opinion.
      i hope your little one is doing well.

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      • Welcome Saira! I think this comes as such a surprise to most of us, which makes it so hard. Please keep us updated and let us know if you get a second opinion.

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  13. Thanks Ann. I appreciate your opinion. I’ve check out the website you sent but since I live in Alberta Canada, I’m going to have to seek Canadian Associations. I’m going to try googling to find some. I highly doubt where I live there is any specialized optometrist though. In saying that I’m going to take her to this other optometrist this week and see what they have to say. What are your thoughts on telling them or not telling them I’m getting a second opinion?

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    • Angela – if you happen to come back and check this, did you find anyone in Alberta? I am also in Alberta and about to start searching for a specialist myself as I have some big concerns and can’t seem to get past the looooong waiting list we’re on right now!

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  14. Hi! I have a 3 year old that was just referred to a pediatric opthamologist. We went today and he gave her a prescription for +5.75. The reason why she was sent is one of her eyes drifts to the outside once in a while. I have only seen it once, my husband has seen it maybe a dozen times. I was expecting a “lazy eye” diagnosis, not glasses. I was completely taken aback. When the optician explained that it was a fairly strong prescription I became even more skeptical. Is it possible to never notice anything and need a prescription that strong? She doesn’t hold books close, she holds them on her lap. She recognizes all her letters, etc. I guess when the optician used the term “coke bottle” I would expect her to be tripping over things and running into walls. Anyone able to provide insight into exactly what a +5.75 might mean? The opthamologist didn’t explain anything at all, the optician really didn’t provide anything helpful either. Thanks in advance!

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  15. Hi Jenn! I had the same experience – when I took my daughter in because her eyes were crossing, I fully expected that we might have to patch one eye, I was taken aback when I learned she’d need glasses.

    +5.75 is a strong farsighted prescription, it’s very common for parents of children with farsighted prescriptions to not notice any problem (I didn’t notice anything). Farsighted children can focus, at least somewhat if not perfectly, but it causes eyestrain, and is one of the causes of their eyes going out of alignment – and that can lead to “lazy eye”. I have definitely noticed now that my daughter is in glasses, that when she doesn’t wear her glasses (generally only when they’re being repaired), she gets tired much more quickly, but she doesn’t run into walls or trip over things.

    There’s a post that goes into detail on what the different parts of a prescription are: https://littlefoureyes.com/2010/01/25/understanding-your-childs-glasses-prescription/ That post has links to online simulators that show what someone with a certain prescription might see, but again, your daughter is probably seeing more clearly than the simulations suggest.

    Let us know how things go!

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  16. I just went in for my second opinion today! It took 4 months to get an appointment at this highly regarded children’s hospital X. I had already taken my 2 year old to another highly regarded pediatric vision clinic Y, but I didn’t really care for my doctor.

    The prescription and treatment recommended was exactly the same, but I feel better knowing that at least two different doctors agree on what should be done. My son has accommodative esotropia and almost +7 in both eyes. It was such a big prescription I really felt nervous about not getting a second opinion.

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    • May I ask you if you waited until after your second opinion to get glasses or not? My 16 month old was diagnosed with high myopia (-11 both eyes) last Friday. Since the prescription is so strong we want to get 2nd opinion but the children’s hospital we want to go to don’t have appt until 2 months from now. We are afraid if the prescription is indeed too strong it will cause her nearsightedness to get worse. Thanks.

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      • Oh goodness. I’d call an eyeglasses shop and ask about their policy on replacing lenses due to prescription changes shortly after getting the glasses. The place that we take Zoe will replace the lenses for free if the prescription changes in the first 6 weeks, and we did have to use that one time. And after that, prescription changes are half price for the next 9 months, I think. If you can find a place that does something like that (and has a good selection for kids), then I’d get the glasses now. I would bet that even if the prescription is different, it won’t be different by a whole lot and it would be good to get her used to wearing glasses and seeing clearly as soon as possible. I haven’t heard of not getting glasses causing a prescription to worsen, but this is an important age in terms of visual development, and my sense is that you want her used to seeing things well.

        Good luck!

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        • thank you so much for your quick reply! will call the shop we went to and see what the policy is.

          but wondering if you have heard of kids eyesight getting worse because prescription is too strong (and wrong)? I realize this might be difficult to tell coz by the time the child’s eyes got used to the wrong and strong prescription, it’s probably too late. But friends we talked to (though none of them have kids with glasses) are concerned that maybe the doctor was wrong and the strong prescription will cause my daughter’s eyes to adapt to the strong prescription.

          one thing to note is my daughter did cry and scream A LOT during the exam so I wonder myself if the prescription might be wrong. but the doctor we saw is supposed to have lots of experience and is also affiliated with a local eye hospital which is world renown. although I must say I wish he gave us more time to ask questions at the time (maybe not his fault since we were too shocked to ask many), and somehow he didn’t seem too worry (I guess he sees this all the time and he also said there’s no other issue at this time and he said wearing glasses will help). I did call him a few days later and asked him a few more questions.

          I was almost certain that we would get glasses for her after we found a shop that has miraflex but now is wavering again…

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  17. One other thing — I did feel like the second doctor seemed a bit defensive. “I went to school with Doctor Y. I have a lot of respect for Doctor Y. I have full confidence that Doctor Y knows the correct prescription.” GOOD GRIEF! I almost felt like I shouldn’t have told the clinic that this was going to be a second opinion.

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    • Wow, that’s too bad that the second doctor seemed so defensive. But I’m glad you got a second opinion and that you’re feeling better about the prescription and treatment. Peace of mind like that is worth a whole lot!

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  18. I feel teribble after learning that my 3 yr daughter is +8 on both eyes. The problem here is that she sees better when she comes closer. Is this opposite than +8 should be. I would expect she not to see anything from 2 feet distance.
    She had her eyes dilated so I expect it to be accurate but can’t beleive.

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  19. We just found out my daugther (Twin A) requires glasses, I am completly shocked and very upset, her eye was only turning slightly, I have a fair bit of experience with crossed eyes due to my adopted older son, who had several surgeris, glasses and many hours of patching and feel that the doctor is jumping the gun with glasses, it was a horrendous appointment, he was terrible with her, she was terrified, it took three of us to hold her down, how is it possible he could even figure anything out during that? It was basically the same office as an adult, and nothing to remotley engage my daughter like I had seen in previous offices and really feel we need a second opinion before the rest of her life is sacrificed wearing glasses, I did not have a pleasant childhood due to the teasing from wearing glasses and do not want my daughter to go through this. And there is nothing more I hate than hearing how cute with glasses when it is people just trying to be polite. The doctor also switched over directly to speaking to my husband when I was upset, almost feeling like I wouldn’t do what is best for her, I will do what I have to do, this just doesn’t feel right

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    • Oh how awful! I definitely think you need a second opinion, it’s not ok to have a doctor treat her or you that way, especially since you’ll be seeing the eye doc a lot if she does need glasses. Good luck and keep us updated!

      It’s strange, the “kids in glasses are so cute” comment bugs me too, even though I do think all the kids in the photo gallery look great. But they’d all be just as cute without glasses, and no one here would put their kids in glasses if it wasn’t necessary. Maybe that’s why that comment grates.

      Sent from my iPhone

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  20. Well ladies I have to disagree with you on the “kids in glasses are cute” being an annoying comment. Yes of course we would not put our child in glasses if we didn’t have to but I think people genuinely do comment because a: lets face it you don’t see too many very little kids in glasses and b: they are darn cute in them!! I don’t think people go out of their way to make a comment just to be polite. I mean some kids have braces, some kids have hearing aids, we are all different and that is fine 🙂 I have learned that at the end of the day I was the one who was doing all the worrying about Paris being in glasses when really it was no big deal to anyone else, including Paris. Not ONE child at her kindy has mentioned them, or seemed to even notice them, nor have any of the parents. In fact, if anything, I like the fact that she is that gorgeous little girl in the adorable glasses and everyone just loves her :). I guess what I am saying is that I really think it is the parents who can become hung up on the glasses thing when really in the scheme of things it is a very small detail 🙂 but one that makes them unique and that’s ok by me 🙂

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    • Very good point about it often being us as parents who are the ones worried, and it’s often no big deal at all for anyone else. And I love, too love that Zoe is the cute girl with glasses (though I hated the idea that that’s what she’d be when we first got glasses). It is a very small thing, and absolutely worth keeping in perspective.

      I’m having a really hard time figuring out what bugs me about the comment. Because when someone tells me that Zoe looks cute in glasses, I totally agree. And I tell people all the time that their child will look great in glasses, and I believe it. And for sure, people saying that kids in glasses are cute are not trying to be mean or anything. For me, it bugs me when it isn’t said about a specific child, but rather, a general statement. And again, I think kids in glasses look great, I wouldn’t have the photo gallery up (which reminds me, I have more pictures I need to add) if I didn’t. I don’t know. I probably need more coffee this morning before I try writing anything 🙂

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  21. I found out my 3 year old needs glasses. We were referred to a Ped. Opthamologist by her pediatrician. Honestly I was ok with going, but wasn’t thinking she would really need glasses.
    But she does, she is farsighted and has astigmatism in both eyes. Her prescription is the following:
    sphere Cylinder Axis
    Right eye +2.25 +3 090
    Left eye +2.25 +3.5 100

    Thinking about it, she does typically stand close to the tv to watch it and sometimes pulls books very close to her eyes. But still I have a little doubt. When I talked to someone while getting her glasses, multiple times I was told her prescription is strong and that she sees blurry and hasn’t really seen me.
    My question – how is it that she has been able to walk around and not run into things then, and recognizes letters and such? My husband is doubting that she really has as blurry of sight as I was told. Not that we think she shouldn’t get glasses, but he wonders how she can find me in a store or recognize tinkerbell from a book a ways away?
    We don’t have another ped opthamologist in the area but then I wonder if we should see an optometrist too? There aren’t any specific for Peds in our area.

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    • Hi Heather! She does have a very strong astigmatism prescription. I don’t know if you took a look, but there’s a nice prescription simulator here http://www.eyeland-design.com/webtools/53828496ca1045c06/53828496900d96002/index.html, so you can see how blurry things were. Kids are so amazing and adaptive, and they learn how to cope with vision issues, especially if she’s always seen this way, she probably is able to recognize things in books, and has learned how to find you, even if you’re a bit blurry from far away.

      I wouldn’t rule out a second opinion though if you’re feeling unsure. I would really make sure that whoever you see is experienced with young children though. Eye exams with doctors who don’t understand kids are not good.

      Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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  22. I am so glad I found this site! I love all of the information and stories from others going through this with their children.
    My son Benjamin (who will be 3 in August) was prescribed glasses at the end of April. I was devastated. We took him to the eye doctor due to his eyes turning in sometimes (especially the left). In the month before his appointment, it had gotten worse. I went to this appointment expecting to hear that he had a lazy eye and if we patched it would get better. Instead I was told that Benjamin was quite farsighted and that he has to try really hard to focus, which is when/why the eyes turn in. The optometrist told us Benjamin would need glasses and by wearing the glasses, the eyes would hopefully straighten, but only when he had the glasses on. We were told he would always need glasses and without them his eyes would always turn in. I was stunned. This doctor was essentially telling me my 2 and a half year old has this eye problem that we will never be able to fix. So I came home and started searching the internet (found this site among others) and felt hopeful that with time, and growth, Benjamin’s eyes might improve (his current prescription is OD +4 and OS +4.5)

    Today we had our first follow-up appointment. I asked more questions and again was met with the same response: his eyes will never improve and will always turn in when not wearing his glasses. I don’t get it! Why is my son never going to be able to outgrow this or straighten his eyes when I have read so many stories about kids improving with age and growth?

    According to this doctor Benjamin has partially-accomodative esotropia and from the exam today it appears he has convergence excess (his eyes are now straight when seeing far but are still turning in when looking at things close up). Now he apparently might need bi-focals but again this doc says he will never outgrow any of this. (I have also now read that kids that need bi-focals have a good chance of outgrowing that). I am not very happy with the doctors explanation. I am not sure if it is because I am in denial or because he is not telling me what I want to hear, but it just doesn’t sit well with me. Both times I have left his office feeling so sad and sick to my stomach. I know there are a lot worse things than a child needing glasses but I just have such a hard time accepting that we can’t do anything to fix it.

    I am going to get a second opinion and will definitely look for a pediatric ophthalmologist. I want so bad to at least have some hope that Benjamin might outgrow at least some of these issues he is now facing.

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    • Hello Lisa, I am really relating to your post 100%. Now that it has been a couple years, I was wondering how your son is doing? Did you go and get a 2nd opinion? With time and growth, has his eyes gotten any better? I am having all of the feelings that you previously had and just wondering if there is any hope of them outgrowing these things since they are so so young!
      Thank you!

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  23. Hi, I am very new to all of this. I just found out yesterday that my nearly 5year old son needs glasses. A well child check showed that he has Amblyopia in the right eye which is 20/100 whilst the left eye is 20/20. I took him to see an optometrist who said that he is farsighted and has astigmatism in the right eye. His prescription in the amblyotic eye is +2.5… Can such a small amount of farsightedness really cause Amblyopia of 20/100??? I’m just wondering if I should get a second opinion…

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  24. HI,
    Thank you so much for this site!! I’m reading the threads and hear myself in every comment! My 14mth old has just been diagnosed with a +8 prescription in his right eye. We’ve noticed since birth that his one eye kept darting in every so often (especially when focusing on something close). We were worried it may be a lazy eye or something muscular so were relived (even though still upset) that he would require glasses and such a strong prescription. We are getting a second opinion from a PO but the wait is so long! We’ve waited 9 mths only to have gotten an appt this week! At any rate, still glad we got in and now we have to figure out the best glasses to get for such a young child and no doubt we will have issues keeping it on him….

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    • Hi, I wonder if you got glasses for your child before the 2nd opinion or not? we are also getting 2nd opinion for my child’s high nearsightedness (-11 both eyes) but it takes two months, so have been wondering if we should wait or not. would like to see how other parents are dealing with this. thanks in advance!

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      • Hi Wendy,
        We got a script from an Opthamologist and luckily were able to get in quickly to see a PO within weeks who verified that he indeed needed a strong script for his farsightedness and in fact, it’s both eyes, not just the one darting in 😦
        I’m getting a third opinion (not really an opinion but another doctor who I hear is amazing) because the first two just didn’t provide us with the comfort we needed with all our questions. They were very abrupt, quick, brushed off our questions when we had so many!! The third one we have heard great things about and it’s important that we find a PO we click with since we’ll be going back often for rechecks. I did get his glasses though as our next appt is 2 months away and I’m sure the script would change. Surprisingly, I would have bet a lot of $$$ on him ripping them off the minute he put them on but he has not except for in the car. He has adapted SOOOOO well to the glasses and actually likes them as he can now see. It’s mind-blowing. I’m so glad we got them for him and didn’t wait another second! When I ordered them, it took another 2-3 weeks to get them. I went with LIndberg frames as they were VERY light and highly recommended by four different opticians. I have heard that a few months isn’t going to make things significantly worse but I”m just so relieved he can now see! GOOD LUCK!!!!!

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        • wow, Diane, thank you so so much for your very quick and detailed reply! it’s so helpful to hear from other parents who have similar experiences.
          my daughter was just diagnosed on Oct 19. We went to an PO for the 1st appt. He’s affiliated with a world renown eye hospital which is in our area and a friend who’s pediatrician also confirmed that he’s a good and experienced PO. But since the prescription is so high and also she was moving and screaming and crying during the exam, we wonder how accurate the result was. Plus the doctor also wasn’t really giving us too much time to ask questions (he did call me back after I called him). We could go to another PO for 2nd opinion but would prefer to go to a local children’s hospital which also is highly ranked just to be safe.
          I think most likely we will get the glasses first. We also did on this past Saturday, had my daughter cooperated during the measurement process. But it was good that she didn’t as we didn’t like the frame we saw there. We went to another Optical shop and found Miraflex which I prefer since it’s plastic, but will look up the frame you mentioned too. Since her prescription is so high, the shop has to call the company to see if the frame can handle or not. I will also ask this shop and see if they would change lenses for free or provide discount if prescription changes within a short time.

          Best of luck to you and to your little one as well!!

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      • also, our optician said they would change the lens for free if it’s within 3 months of when we get the glasses so if his script changes in January, we’ll change them. I have heard that a script is better than no script and in fact, some POs prescribe a scripts that gradually work toward what a child really needs. Our PO just jumped right to the strength they thought was right although the exam was very quick so I think it was still a ‘best estimate’ knowing that at this young age, their prescriptions are bound to change. Hope this helps!
        Diane

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  25. Dear sir.
    I’ve a 8th months nephew..he was suffring for eyes problm …dr was saying he’ve little beat light in eyes ..plz suggest a doctor plz sir m waiting ur replay plz

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  26. The pediatric eye doctor( sorry I forget what their called lol) just told us my 11 month old is needing a +8.50 in her right eye, and +9.00 in her left. She also has astigmatism in her left eye. This seems really strong to me. Would t I have noticed by now? She can pick up my black hoodie string off of my very dark red/black hoodie, with two fingers…how bad can her vision be?

    Her left eye does occasionally turn out a little sometimes but most comments I’ve seen say they turn in? I’m feeling like I should get a second opinion, but this was the best children’s clinic near me :/

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