open thread: introductions and updates

We’ve gotten quite a few comments recently from parents new to the world of young kids and glasses.  Welcome!  I’m so happy you found us, and I really hope you’ll post any questions you have, and stick around and let us know how things are going for you.

I thought it would be nice to have another open thread where people could introduce themselves, and leave any updates on how things are going.  How has 2009 been for you?

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29 responses to “open thread: introductions and updates

  1. I’m Annie – Mom to Aubrie & Everett. Aubrie will be 4 so very soon! She got glasses when she was 20 months old. I was very nervous & scared. No one in my family has vision problems so we were shocked that something was wrong. I was very over-due pregnant (as in induced the day she got her glasses) with my son at that time. We first noticed her vision issues because she crossed her eyes at 18 months. It took 2 months to see a pediatric opthamologist – who I couldn’t stand. Her first glasses were +5.5 in both eyes. She broke several pairs of frames that first year. Her second pair of glasses came a year later. Her eyes got worse & were +5.75 in both eyes. Then a year later in 2009 we had an exam & good news – this year we stayed the same! I was very excited! As long as we stay the same or get better I am just thrilled! She does great with her glasses now! She still breaks several frames with help from her little brother, but with a warranty it’s not a problem. We go yearly for eye exams unless something changes. We are very fortunate that we caught her vision issues early & that we haven’t required surgery! She is the cutest thing in glasses & wouldn’t be the same little girl without them!

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  2. I just found this site and think it’s great! Two of my six children wear glasses. One is 5 years old and the other is 2. The 5 year old accepted the glasses (and patching) with out too much trouble. The 2 year just got his glasses last week and already broke his first pair. I found your site in my search for indestructible glasses! 🙂

    I think your patch coloring pages are awesome!

    I put you in my reader and will check in often. I also put your “badge” on my blog.

    It’s nice to know there are other parents out there facing the same issues. Thanks!

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  3. It is exciting to know that Little Four Eyes gets almost 500 views in one day =) My daughter Elliana is 3 and we have visited the PO so many times this year that the whole office knows us by name. Ann is very sweet to let me blog on this site and it is one way I have coped with the challenges patching a toddler brings.

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  4. I recently found this blog after a +7 farsighted diagnoses for my two year old. I choked back tears as I read through the posts and realized I wasn’t alone. After just three weeks I’ve learned a lot from Little Four Eyes. There’s a wealth of information here. Thank you!

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  5. My daughter is now a little over 2.5 years old. She’s been wearing glasses since she was 7 months old for farsightedness and strabismus.

    In 2009, she had eye muscle surgery on both eyes. What a difference after the surgery in terms of her eyes being able to track together and of her prescription being lowered. That’s the biggest update for us in 2009!

    It’s been great reading of others’ experiences and of sharing our own. Thanks to Ann and others for providing this valuable resource!

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  6. Ah, thanks everyone! I realized I never added my introduction here – I’m Ann, and Zoe is now 3 years old, which I find hard to believe. We’re almost at her 2 year anniversary of getting glasses, she got her first pair for farsightedness on Dec. 26, 2007.

    She has an ophthalmologist appointment next week. I’m hoping for good news on the binocular vision question. Even if her prescription changes, I think we’re going to stay with her same frames. She hasn’t outgrown them yet, and they’re still in good shape.

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  7. Hi! I’m a mom in the Minneapolis area and my son doesn’t actually have glasses or known vision problems … but I did as a kid. I had to start wearing glasses at the age of 3 I think and had strabismys surgery at the age of 4 and then have worn glasses on and off pretty much forever. So all the talk about kids in glasses reminds me of being a kid in glasses myself and i’m just so happy that there is a much more positive influence out there now than when I was a kid in the 70s. Anyway. Thats my story. Thanks for an interesting read!

    Oh, and crappy vision runs in the family for the most part so I would not be surprised if some day my son does have vision problems. However, thus far he takes after his perfectly sighted father. 🙂

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    • Hi Jennifer! Thanks for the comment. As a mom of a daughter with strabismus, I’m curious – did you develop binocular vision? Did you ever outgrow the need for glasses?

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      • Well I don’t know if my story is unique or not – but my right eye (the non-surgical dominant eye) is incredibally near sighted (I wear a contact with some ridiculously negative number on it) and my left eye (the surgical eye) which is the weak eye is very far sighted. And both eyes work independently of each other – I have a terrible time with stereovision and things that are ‘3D’ (not to the point of a disability meaning I can guage distances etc – but it is noticible to me). My best example is those magic eye things – do you remember those things in the early 90s? If you stared at them long enough a picture supposedly emerged? They were everywhere at that time. There was NOT ONE SINGLE ONE that I ever saw the ‘hidden picture’ in. It was all just a blur of color. So whatever type of stereovision I needed to see those was missing. It wasn’t from lack of trying. My sister thought it was amazing – ‘you don’t see the birds? trees? etc?’ Never did. So long story short yes I do need to have correction in my right eye to see stuff far away – technically my opthamologist would like me to wear contacts in both my eyes (I started wearing just the one in 1998 and then they converted me to both eyes around 2004 but I quit doing that after having a baby in 2005 because I just hated the agony of getting the contact in the left eye, it wasn’t worth the extra time hassle for the small amount of correction it provided). I have a ‘back up’ pair of glasses but the perscription is so strong and different that I really can’t wear them for very long before they give me a headache.

        Ok I do have a bit more to this story. So I had the surgery when I was 4 – and wore glasses for about 4 more years before I was pronounced ‘cured’ (ha). I started playing the cello in grade school (no glasses) and had just a heck of a time seeing the sheet music. Back to the eye doctor we go. Turns out the range of the music stand (and computer monitors for that matter) were right in that range of where the right eye couldn’t see out that far and the left eye couldn’t see in that close – so at about 3-5 feet without correction i’m a bit ‘fuzzy’. I can obviously get around fine at home without correction – but if I were to pick up the cello again or type at a computer i’d have to have either the contact in or my glasses on.

        Curiously enough I pass the drivers exam test because my left eye is ‘uncorrected’ and since it is the farsighted eye it passes every time. For some reason I just find this hilarious. 🙂 I remember getting the contact in 1998 and being impressed I could see stuff like leaves on the tree – it rocked.

        Ok was that way too much information? I have such crazy vision I forget when to stop sometimes. 🙂

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  8. Hello, I have been reading this blog for a few weeks now-my 16 month old dtr was diagnosed with extreme farsightedness on 11/30/09. We just picked up her glasses last night! She of course hates them…but I am being patient because of all the great information I have read on this site-I know that this will take time, energy, patience, love and understanding of what Makenna is going through. I myself do not wear glasses so this is a whole new world for me and my family-we all love Makenna and want her to be able to see her world…knowing other parents are out there going through the same concerns has helped me feel much less alone in this! And much more prepared and well informed-so THANK YOU! I will keep reading…will also try to post her picture (+9 in both eyes) and I think her glasses are super cute!

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    • Thanks Emily, and welcome! I hope your daughter takes to her glasses soon, but it sounds like you’re approaching things in a great way. We’d love to see a picture of Makenna in her glasses!

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  9. Hi! I’m new to this website as well. My daughter Rylie (who is 11 months old today!) had surgery for strabismus 2 1/2 weeks ago. My heart broke a few days ago when I noticed her weaker eye turning in again. I feel helpless and alone. This website gives me hope. I think will get prescribed glasses when we go back for our follow-up appointment next week. I’m praying we can keep them on! I’m so happy we found this webisite.
    April

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  10. I’m Christy, Mom to Matthew and Emma. My Emma is 5 and wears glasses for farsightedness and Accommodative Esotropia. She was diagnosed in January of this year and that is when I found this site….thankfully! She continues to do well although we have plateaued when it comes to improving her vision in her amblyopic eye. Since May she has made very little improvement, staying between 20/25 and 20/30. Which I know is still good and better than when we started. Her PO has asked that we bump up her patching hours in hopes of closing the gap between the 2 eyes and so for now we keep patching and hope the increased hours do the trick! She is and always has been very compliant with wearing the patch and it makes it so much easier…I am lucky there I know!

    Thanks too, Ann for this site…..it truly provides so much for all of us!

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  11. Hi,
    I’ve posted on here before and I just had a few questions that I don’t know if anyone can answer for me.

    My daughter has Accomodative Esotropia and has worn glasses for a year now. I’ve been told by 3 different doctors that she doesn’t have amblyopia as of yet but sometimes I wonder if I should be patching her. I’ve always asked and they say until her eyes measure farther apart (right now she’s 20/30 and 20/40 in her eyes, corrected) that then we should start patching. There is a big difference in Rx strength between her eyes also.

    So I guess my question is whether anyone has been told to patch their child when there is just that much of a difference in their eyes. She measures about a 5.25 and a 4.00 in her eyes.

    We do vision therapy with her and we’re just trying to get her eyes more strenghtened for the probably inevitable surgery. I think there is just too much of a difference in her eyes but then again, I’m not a doctor.

    Thanks.

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    • Hi Gretchen! My daughter also has accommodative esotropia without amblyopia. With amblyopia, it doesn’t matter what the prescription difference is, just how well she sees with her glasses. Since it sounds like she’s seeing well with both of her eyes with glasses, I would stick with that for now. One of the risks of patching is that you can weaken the eye that’s being patched, and patching doesn’t encourage the eyes to work together (vision therapy will).

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      • Now I understand what you mean and I know that patching can sometimes cause the other eye to become weaker but I just don’t understand why the glasses don’t make her see equally out of each eye. Does that make sense? I guess I just think her eyes should be equal for the most part if there is no amblyopia. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just thinking about it too hard. But I know you understand as well as anyone else that we just want to do everything we can to ensure that things get better, or at least not any worse. I should try to just trust the Dr judgement since they are the professionals, right? Things just get so confusing sometimes.

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      • Elly has Amblyopia and Extropia (turns out rather than in) My understanding is that Amblyopia is a vision issue and the turning out is a muscle issue. We were patching because she has a high difference -1 in her L and -8.5 in her R and her brain was not using the Rt Eye. I think we started out at 20/40 and 20/1200. Although she is still in the same perscription, her brain is starting to recognise her Rt eye and we are now at 20/40, 20/50 with glasses. The PO said that that is almost the same. It seems that 20/30, 20/40 and 20/50 are all typical for toddler/ preschool vision.

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  12. Hi Amomofelly,
    I’ve read your stories and I am so happy for your family and Elly to have come so far from where you guys were. I think I’m understanding amblyopia a little more. Although the glasses may appear to make the eyes straight it doesn’t mean they are using both of them so that’s where Elly had 20/40 in one and 20/1200 in the other because she wasn’t using both eyes. My daughter is, for the most part, so that’s why they are fairly the same, even though Rx is not, right? I just remember when we first started a year ago, the first Dr she saw said no amblyopia but when I asked about patching he said he had no problem with that and kind of left it up to us. Weird, huh? But the other Drs she’s seen said no patching. I still think back to that 1st Dr and wonder why he said that and who is right. But I think I do understand more and I appreciate you and Ann for talking to me.

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  13. Hi,
    My name is Ingrid, I have three children, Chloe, 8, Connor, 6 and Paris 2. My older two children have no eye problems however Paris wears glasses for near sightedness in her right eye (-4.5). She has been wearing glasses since she was one and is incredibly cute in them!! We are also patching two hours per day and thank goodness she is wonderful with it. We swear by framehuggers! We are making good progress, however our challenge is the large difference between the eyes. Her left eye is a little far sighted +1 however the PO is leaving that lense plano as children are naturally a little long sighted and it should get less so with time. Paris’s eye does turn out from time to time as a result of her right eye being weaker but it is improving and hopefully we will be able to avoid surgery as the vision improves and equalises between both eyes. This site has been a wonderful source of encouragement and inspiration and thank you Ann for having the wisdom to start it! It is so nice to hear positive stories of improvement, good on you parents for doing the absolute best you can for your childrens vision….they will thank us for it when they are older.

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  14. It’s official. Rylie was prescribed glasses today. 3 weeks post surgery her PO was impressed with her super fast healing. She said the eye was turning back in but on 50% of what it was before surgery. We will give it 6 months and re evaluate. In the meantime patching and glasses. Heaven help me. I hope I can keep them on her.

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    • Hi April, it sounds like your daughter and our daughter had a very similar prognosis and treatment. My daughter is three years old now and though initally, the doctors were positive that she needed a second surgery, we were recently told that a second surgery was not necessary. We have been patching for over three years and will likely continue to do so until she is ten years old. Aside from giving God the praise for not having to have a second surgery, I feel confident that it was vision therapy and a temporary two months of fulltime patching that helped us avoid a second surgery. I wish you all the best! It is very, very hard going through this with such a young child, but persevere!!!! It does get better! Remember that you are NOT torturing her, but doing it to give her the best possible outcome! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask away!

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  15. Hi All,
    My name is Jillian, and my son Ronan was prescribed bifocals back in August, just before his second birthday. I found this site through yahoo answers, and am so thankful for the advice on how to get him to wear his glasses. It took almost 2 months, but now he wears them all the time and puts them on by himself if we forget! Our current dilemma is frame destruction. The other day he took the glasses off and stretched the arms so far apart that he ripped one off of the frame. This is the second set of frames in a month! It’s covered under warranty, but we have to wait a week for the new frames to come in.
    Also, does anyone here have any experience with getting health insurance to cover glasses as opposed to our eyeglass plan? The plan says it covers the glasses if you choose the ‘insurance’ frames, but there are no insurance frames that fit my son, so we end up paying for everything out of pocket. We have been to 4 of the 5 opticians in the plan with the same results, and we really like the optician we’ve settled on, just would like some coverage. Has anyone else dealt with this?

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    • I am also wondering the same thing…my 16 mo old is doing great with her glasses, but does pull them off on her own and is sort of rough on them-I am considering getting a back up pair b/c her script is +9 and I would feel terrible if she had to go a full week without glasses if she breaks hers! Also wondering what anyone has done about swimming? I have Makenna signed up for swim lessons this winter and also we have a weekend indoor waterpark trip planned…are there prescription goggles out there? Am I crazy to think she needs them? I just don’t think the water park would be much fun if she can’t see anything!

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      • I’ve never had an insurance plan that covers glasses, so I don’t have good advice on that. We did end up buying 2 pair of glasses for Zoe last year, in part because I didn’t want her to go a week without glasses if hers broke. It’s worked out well, and luckily her prescription hasn’t changed, so we don’t have to update the prescription on 2 pair, but it’s not cheap.

        There was a discussion of prescription goggles here: https://littlefoureyes.com/2009/07/02/reader-question-prescription-swim-goggles/- most goggles aren’t available in high prescriptions, so you may have to settle for only a partial prescription.

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    • A friend of ours got 2 pairs – one “metal” frame one and one pair of Miraflex. She is very thankful for the Miraflex pair as they are almost indestructable and great for young kids. I can’t find any insurance that will cover glasses, but we did find a place that is covered by the eye care plan with my hubbies work that will order us the glasses we are looking for. Now that we are on our 4th pair, I will know what to look for. We love the cable temples!

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  16. Hi, I posted this up in archives, and it wasn’t really the right place… Putting it here now:

    My son (aged 5) has just been told he needs glasses – for astigmatism. He was excited initially and tried on some with superman decorations on the wings, but then in the car on the way home asked – What if people laugh at me with glasses on. I told him if they did, it would only be because they were jealous and wished they had them too. However, it struck a chord with me. I remember distinctly the day I got my glasses. I was 5 too. They arrived in a cardboard package. Little pink National Health ones with wire bits for around the ears. My parents marvelled at how lovely I was and I felt like the bees knees… and then I walked into the class to taunts of “Specky four eyes! Ha Ha” and I was heartbroken. I avoid wearing glasses when I can myself because I feel very unattractive in them and have a real thing about them after growing up with horrible glasses until I was 16. I am within the visual limit to drive without glasses – just – so I avoid them. Trying hard to protect my son from a similar experience. I’m worried about how he will adjust. Children can be very cruel….

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  17. Welcome Annette, your story from your childhood just breaks my heart. While Zoe hasn’t run into any taunts from kids (that I know of), she’s still much younger, and I do worry about what she’ll face as she gets older. I hope your son doesn’t encounter the same problems. I do think there are a lot more children of that age with glasses, now.

    Please let us know how things go for him. I know there are a lot of kids books that talk about dealing with kids making fun of glasses.

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