It has been a minute since we’ve blogged… like almost two years! But hey no time like the present right! Today I’m talking about my son getting glasses. My husband and I get stopped almost every time we are out to be asked ‘how did you know your son needed glasses?’ Some of you out there have young children with glasses and know exactly what I’m talking about. One lady stopped my at the grocery store and told me that her children wore glasses at a young age and her husband would answer any questions with ‘they only wear them when they drive!’ Ha! I digress. I thought I’d share our experience and answer some of those frequently answered questions. Because I think other parents are just curious and maybe wonder if their child might need glasses.
My little nine month old baby loved to play with kitchen utensils (the ladle was his favorite)! He often liked to see how it looked when he moved it around and often his little eyes would cross and take a minute to uncross. From what I had learned in school and my job, its relatively normal for babies eyes to cross or not focus but I knew that after six months it shouldn’t be happening and I was concerned! My sweet husband wasn’t… he said it rarely happens and it is probably just normal. Well I scheduled an appointment anyways because best case scenario they would say nothing is wrong, right?
Well we go into the pediatric ophthalmologist’s office, I even scheduled our appointment an hour or more before naptime (smart mom) or so I thought… Well we get in with an M.A. and she asked as what was going on. We described what had been happening and she took notes. When she left the P.A. came in, he couldn’t see the eye crossing, so we literally played with our little one trying to get him to cross his eyes!! It was insane, I felt like we were trying to perform. I even had pictures, I felt some dumb trying to prove that he was crossing his eyes. But he still didn’t see it. Well he did some lens tests to check his vision and let us know the doctor would be in after B’s eyes were dilated. Might I just add we are well into naptime and this kid is so grouchy. I felt terrible. We waited the twenty minutes for his eyes to dilate and then the ophthalmologist came in. He didn’t see any crossing, and said that all those pictures didn’t actually show crossing it might just be the folds in his eyes (relief for mama). But he went ahead and checked his vision.
We often get asked how can they even check their vision. Cue the visual of a baby wearing all sorts of lenses and responding to ‘which is better, one or two?’ But actually the doctor has a light he shines through a lens and how the light reflects back will tell you what his prescription is, based on the lens he is looking through.
This part of the exam was pure torture. Anyone who has had to take a child under 12 months to the eye doctor will agree. This baby of ours had been stuck in a strange room for two hours, now with dilated eyes, and had missed his nap. He was crying and wanting to leave. I had to hold his head straight, while my husband held down his arms and the eye doctor held his eye lids open and shined a light into them. It was excruciating to be apart of. But was relatively quick, thankfully. It turns out that our little baby was farsighted, he couldn’t see up close or well it was blurry so he would cross his eyes to try and focus. In a blur of explanations and our crying son. We were told that our son might get Amblyopia (or a lazy eye), so as a precaution to help with his farsightedness he would be getting glasses.
Now I’ve worked with hundreds of families who have been given much more devastating news about their children and have handled it with grace. But goodness I was a mess. I just imagined all the rest of his baby months and first birthday with glasses and it just broke my heart. The first day he got them, I was working, my sweet husband got them and I just sat at work and cried. I think deep down I just didn’t want anything to be wrong with my perfect little boy. But life moved on and everyone knows him as the cute redhead with glasses. And guys he really is adorable in them!
Well zoom forward to about a month ago and we had another eye appointment, his vision has gotten worse and he was really crossing his eyes. We ordered new glasses and have now entered the world of eye patches! And this time around, I’m not so devastated. Life goes on and I’m just so blessed to have my little one with me.
I want to end with some helpful tips about infants/toddlers with glasses! It can be a struggle for so many to keep them on, and it is so hard for children to develop if they can’t see. Getting them to wear those classes should be a BIG priority.
- Every day when your little wakes up, you just put on the glasses. If they take them off, don’t give too much attention, Just simply say ‘we wear our glasses’ and put them back on. Every. Time.
- If you are consistently putting on your little’s glasses and they hate them, try distracting them. For a lot of children they will find life a lot more easy if they get to use their new found vision. Get playing with them, maybe buy a new toy for them to try out their new glasses on. These young ones are easily distracted.
- Keep up your eye appointments
- Just like your Well Child Checks, your eye appointments are just as important. Things can change quickly with their vision and having the right prescription will help your child want to wear them.
- Bonus tip for children who patch (from my sister-in-law):
- She bought her two and a half year old a big pirate ship when he started patching. And every time he wears his patch he gets to play with that pirate ship. It is a great incentive for him and a great type of play to strengthen that weaker eye!
What have you found to keep your child’s glasses on??!!