Per Wikipedia …
Strabismus, also called crossed eyes, is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. Exotropia is a form of strabismus where the eyes are deviated outward.
The brain’s ability to see three-dimensional objects depends on proper alignment of the eyes. When both eyes are properly aligned and aimed at the same target, the visual portion of the brain fuses the forms into a single image. When one eye turns inward, outward, upward, or downward, two different pictures are sent to the brain. This causes loss of depth perception and binocular vision.
Strabismus occurs in about 2% of children.
Why do I tell you this? Well … because M has this of course!
We went to the neuro-ophthalmologist yesterday … I’ll tell you all about it, but first let me give you a little history.
When M was a baby, I mentioned her eyes did not look ‘right’ … her pediatrician examined her and felt it was due to a wide nose bridge. Basically, with the wide bridge, it gives the optical illusion that something is not ‘right.’ But, it didn’t seem to get any better. Then, more issues developed … and off to the eye doctors. At age 1, M had her first eye appointment. We were told all was fine and to come back in a year. What they didn’t tell us … M’s vision was 20/180 and they were monitoring for Strabismus.
About 6 months later, Perkins School for the Blind was added to M’s Early Intervention (EI) team … not because she was blind. But it appeared that there was some kind of vision impairment (I didn’t know that was why at the time, just another resource to work with M). Perkins was able to receive a copy of the eye report and mentioned to us what they saw … as a result I no longer had any trust in that doctor! Don’t hide things from me and tell me everything is ok! That just made me angry, not reassured.
So … in comes a wonderful new doctor … a neuro-ophthalmologist. Without us saying anything, after seeing M for the first time she talked about M’s eyes … how one eye appeared to not always be aligned. This was ‘common’ and often self corrected. She wanted to monitor it for now. OK … so now I’m being told there is a potential problem, but it could be nothing. Great. At home, we started seeing the eye drift off more often.
Finally, during one of the follow-up appointments, it was determined the eye was not self correcting, therefore we decided to patch. What does this mean? We put a patch over the stronger eye and make the weaker eye (the one that drifts) work harder … the goal is to strengthen the muscles of the weaker eye. We patched for 2 hours every day for 4 months. End result … the eye got WORSE! Ugh.
Next step … surgery. This was scheduled for November 2016. Only problem, M would not cooperate during the pre-op appointments! Her pre-op appointment (2 weeks before scheduled surgery) was when we found out about her amoxicillin allergy … she broke out in hives. Well … not too interested in following a light (plus M just doesn’t listen). We decided to attempt another try … during the visit her eyes were aligned and the doctor just didn’t know exactly how much to adjust (side note, I loved the fact the doctor told me this!). So, instead of proceeding and making more problems, we postponed.
Now … 6 months later … we are ready to go! I spent 6 months of sending the doctor various pictures of M when her eye was not aligned. This way, we were not dependent on M cooperating during a 15-min doctor visit … and the doctor could have more information.
We had our pre-op visit yesterday. M cooperated a little better … once I took a string out! She loves strings and was following that all around trying to get it! Didn’t really care about the lights yesterday. So … yup … surgery in 2 weeks! I’m nervous, but also ready for this chapter to be over!
Wish us luck!!