This story was sent in by Sheetal. She’d love to hear from anyone else dealing with intermittent exotropia. – Ann Z
My daughter has intermittent extropia. Her eye drifts outwards intermittently. We discovered it when she was about 7 months, but doctor said not to do anything about it then. We started patching when she was about 1 1\2 years; we patched only one eye (right eye) to make the left eye stronger. We did it for about four months. We went for a follow up in November 2010; she was 2 years by then. Doctor said, he sees the drift and he says he will have to do surgery soon. He also told us that her vision is fine in both the eyes. (20\20)
I really panicked, because though I see the drift in her eyes, I don’t see it all the time and I see it occasionally, maybe 5-10 times a day and it is different on different days. Whenever the drift is there, it stays for few seconds and she corrects it. Drift usually comes when she is looking at certain angle, I don’t see it when she is looking straight at things. So I was completely shaken when doctor said surgery is the only option.
I subsequently took appointment from 2 other doctors.
The second doctor told me that the drift is about 20-25 prism units, but he suggested not to do anything, he is very experienced and he told me to wait, according to him 1\3 of the cases stays the same, 1\3 gets better on their own and 1\3 gets worse. So he told us to keep a watch and I have appointment with him in April. (He also advised is against patching because he of the binocular vision). He also mentioned an interesting fact, that small kids have to look up at everything because their height is small, but as they grow everything is at an eye level and that helps in getting the drift better.
We went to the third doctor and he also mentioned that the drift is about 20 prism units.
He knew my first doctor and he said, he didn’t agree with him as far as the surgery goes, he said surgery is the last option and he recommended to continue patching and suggested pencil pushup exercise.
Now, I am a little relieved that surgery is off for now but am confused that there are different statements from different doctors. Am not sure if whatever I am doing is right, fear of something going wrong is always there.
Now I am patching the right eye for 1 1\2 hours and left eye for 1\2 hour alternate days.
We also try doing the Pencil Pushup exercise with her, we got 100 sticks from dollar store and we stick stickers on the tip and move it from back to front, she does it or few minutes and then looses attention.