Yet another thing I didn’t know about.

Whooo, boy, we’ve had some exciting times here.  Guess where we just came back from? 

Oh, never mind.  You don’t have to guess.  You know I’m going to tell you anyway, right?  Well, we just came back from the eye doctor.  And it was a doozy of an appointment.

My son failed his eye exam at school.  (As an aside: he declared himself a failure because he failed the eye exam, and my gosh, did that ever break my heart to hear him say, “I’m a failure” in that soft, sweet Eeyore-like voice.  So do you think maybe we could find another way to word that whole thing?  Like maybe they do not do well on the exam and we tell them their eyes are feeling a little under the weather?  Or something?)  Anyway, he failed the exam at school and the school nurse called and said we needed to take him to have his eyes examined.  So we did.  And it was a very eye-opening trip to the eye doctor.  (Pun so intended.)  (But so not funny, I know.)

It turns out that he is far sighted in his left eye.  Like, so far sighted that when the doctor covered his right eye, he could not make out the big E at the top of the eye chart.  So far sighted that if he were to have come in as an adult, he would have been within the limits of being classified as legally blind in his left eye.  We’re talking vision worse than 20/200.  That’s how far sighted he is.

Luckily, we found the problem while he is still young, and we can work at making his eye a little better.  As a child, the doctor explained to us, his vision and brain are more malleable, and if we make his left eye work harder, we can teach it how to work correctly.   Or better, anyway.  It doesn’t look like he’ll ever be able to go without some sort of corrective eye-wear on his left eye.  Right now his right eye is doing all of the work for him.  He’s probably not ever seen anything clearly through his left eye.  Not ever.

(Now doesn’t that just make me feel like the best parent ever.  I didn’t even notice until he was eight years old.)

I guess he never told us he couldn’t see out of that eye because he’s never known it’s not normal.  It’s just the way it’s always been for him, and he never thought it would be any different.

So at first we thought he would have to get glasses.  We even took the time to go next door and browse through the different frames available while his pupils were dilating.  But it turns out that when the doctor looked at his eyes again once the pupils were dilated, that glasses might be the last resort for him.  You see, the lens on his bad eye would be so thick and magnified, it would look downright funny.  And since my goal is to not have my son picked on mercilessly, we really don’t want to go that route.  Instead, he’s going to get fitted for contacts.  Rather, a contact (singular) for his left eye. 

He’ll be getting his trial lens on Friday.  I wonder how much different the world will look to him once his vision improves in his left eye.

Edited to add:  Jeez,  I also forgot to mention that he has astigmatism in that eye.  Can you believe it?!

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dad on 03/19/2008 at 3:38 pm

    There may be a family connection. Ever notice how your brother always looks at you kind of sideways? I don’t think he is always being critical of you. And, like your mom, he doesn’t think it’s a bad thing. (how long did your mom go before getting glasses.)
    Contacts uh? Boy, is that going to be a fun activity every morning.


  2. Posted by e on 03/19/2008 at 3:50 pm

    Hmmm, I never connected what my brother does to his vision. But now that I think about it…

    And, yeah, the contacts are going to be FUN for the first little bit. We’re supposed to be practicing touching the whites of his eyes every night so he gets used to something coming at his eye. And the doctor says that he’ll probably be able to do it himself once he gets used to wearing them. I’m so scared I’m going to poke him in the eye — especially when it comes time to take them out!


  3. I believe it! Don’t feel bad. I didn’t know anything about children’s vision, either. And I read every book under the sun and did everything the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended.

    If it’s any consolation, your son didn’t fail an eye exam at school; he failed a vision screening. Your son was lucky…most children aren’t, like my daughter. These children continue through school with undetected vision problems. What a shame.

    This experience led me to start Vision First. Our children deserve better than what they’ve been getting. For more information, check out:

    Let’s bring children’s vision into the 21st century. I hope you’ll join me.


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