What’s With The Four Eyes?

Since I have been blogging more and have used my mad skillz to figure out how to upload video, lots more friends and family have been able to connect and share with us as well. Since posting our newest videos, I have had several people ask how long Mr. B has been wearing glasses, why he has to wear them and how we knew he needed them. The answers are quite surprising and I thought that I’d answer them for ya.

Mr. B has been wearing glasses since he was 19 months old and there are three reasons that I chose to have his eyes checked. First, we noticed that right before nap time (usually while reading a book) and before bedtime Mr. B’s left eye would kind of roll in toward his nose if he was looking at a book or trying to look at our face close up. At first, I simply thought that it was a remnant of his newborn days, when he would look up and be cross eyed for a minute. But when it seemed to be getting worse and the grandparents noticed it enough to say something about it, I realized it wasn’t just a stage anymore. Thinking he still might “grow out of it”, I put off the optometrist appointment.

One afternoon after talking to my husband’s mother about Mr. B’s “funny eye”, she mentioned that there were other members of the family (Mr. B’s older cousins) who had eye issues too – they were girls, but the fact that they wore glasses and had some similar symptoms made me think again about making an eye appointment.

Finally, I started reading articles about the symptoms and possible causes of the “rolling eye syndrome” as we called it, and I realized that if I didn’t do something NOW, there could be plenty of complications later. Since Gila Man was working for the state and we had GREAT insurance, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to bring him in.

You can see that his eyes aren't quite right here.
You can see that his eyes aren't quite right here.

Though we went to a regular eye doctor (not a pediatric one), Mr. B’s eyes were bad enough for him to see that there was a serious problem going on with his eyes. At the end of the 20 minute exam, the doctor looked at me and said that he hadn’t seen a kid this far-sighted (he can see far away, but not close up) before, and he had been an optometrist for 20 years. I got all teary and asked if Mr. B needed glasses. He said yes. I asked if he would have to wear them forever. He replied, “Probably. Though kids younger and younger are wearing contacts – some as young as 10.”

I was shocked. My son couldn’t see? But he pointed to books and things IN the books! He could tell you colors, shapes, and animals in the books we read! He didn’t trip (much) on things in the house. He didn’t stumble around with his hands in front of him or act like he couldn’t see! What the heck? My kid could see!

Right, he could see, but only far away. He had learned very quickly where the rugs were in the house. What doorways to avoid, what stairs he could climb. Because of his lack of sight, Mr. B is a fantastic auditory learner, even now that he is in pre-school.

Another questionable eye picture.
Another questionable eye picture.

Turns out, he was diagnosed with “hyperopia“, and after all that long explanation, it essentially means that Mr. B’s little eyes COULD see, but they had to work so hard to see up close that the muscles in his eyes would get extremely fatigued and they would “give up” – like a guy doing too many push-ups – the eye just couldn’t focus anymore. The doctor said the if we had waited much longer, even another 6 months, that the strained muscles would have required surgery to fix. On a scale of 1 t 4, 1 being the weakest prescription and 4 being and extremely strong one, Mr. B had a 5.25 on his right eye and a 5.75 on his left!!!

Here is the very first pair of glasses that I had to keep on my very active son:

Are they thick enough, do ya think?
Are they thick enough, do ya think?

The glasses had little rubber-coated ends that wrapped around his little ears and made them stick out from his head. They also rubbed sores into the backs of his earlobes and we had to get them adjusted over and over again – like I said, the guy we went to wasn’t a pediatric optomologist.

One of the sweetest moments after he got his new glasses was when he woke up from his nap and when I went to go get him, I said, “Hi, sweetie!”. He looked at me and said, “MOMMA! I see you nose!” and his face lit up and he looked at me like he had seen me for the first time ever. I realized that while he was pointing to things in books, he was pointing to the BIG object, like the whole face of the giraffe. But after he got his glasses, he would point to the EYE of the giraffe and say, “Eye”. It was an amazing difference!

Mr. B’s second birthday party.
Mr. B's second birthday party.

So my kid wears glasses! That’s the story. We have since switched to a phenominal pediactric optimologist and not only did we find better fitting glasses, but we found out the Mr. Bentley has a stigmatism as well. The good news is that every year we go back, we get a prescription that is a little weaker than the one before – which means his eyes are getting better, so yipee!


One thought on “What’s With The Four Eyes?

  1. It was great reading this…my 4 year old just got glasses a month back tho’ it’s for a very low power of -0.75D in one eye.

    I had to persuade the doc to give him glasses…but faced some criticism from people about “forcing” him to wear glasses…I don’t agree that you should deny a kid the chance to see clearly just because getting him to wear glasses is a problem.

    Would love to get some tips about how to get him to wear them without tantrums…thanks! It was heartwarming reading about how your son can see the details clearly! You rock as a mom!

    Here’s my post on how my son got glasses…http://starsinmeyes.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/kid-updates/

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