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17mo prescribed glasses for squint & shortsightedness but we're concerned they're too strong

(14 Posts)
TownhouseMummy Mon 11-Nov-13 12:01:09

Can anyone offer any insight into baby/toddler eyesight? We have recently been seen at the hospital because we noticed our 17mo has a squint. This was confirmed but they also tested his eyesight using lights and he has been prescribed glasses for his shortsightedness. We have never noticed any problem with his sight. In fact he often spots things we haven't noticed and OH has been testing him at home, asking him to identity pictures of animals from several metres away. He does so correctly using sounds and sign language. The prescription is similar to OH's and he says he cannot identify the pictures without his glasses on. We have not yet collected the glasses but at present OH is refusing to let him wear them for fear of damaging his "perfectly good" eyesight. I'm inclined to accept the professional opinion but am concerned by how well he has identified the pictures at home. I don't know where we can get a second opinion. Any insight/advice?

During a chat with my own optician he said that you can't damage eyesight with the wrong glasses, it's like putting another lens over a telescope. If they're wrong it will be blurred or not right, and the worst that will happen is that he will get a headache (not desirable, of course!).

The reason that I responded to your post is that I had glasses from a young age and I'm convinced they were wrong for me. I used to step out of the optician's and feel that the pavement would hit me in the face. But you learn to cope with them. Things improved when I got a lot older and got contact lenses. Now I need reading glasses to go on top of the contacts & the optician tested me & said I need +2.5. But I tried +1 and they are fine confused and +2.5 gives me a headache.

Part of the problem is that as a child, you tend to reply to questions in a way that you think is expected, so if the optician says "Is this better?" you try to guess what they want to hear, rather than actually thinking about if it's better or worse.

So, no advice really - just stick with your instincts, and be assuredthat they can get it wrong!

TownhouseMummy Mon 11-Nov-13 16:22:57

Thank you that's reassuring that they can't hurt his eyes long term. That's dh's main concern. Less reassuring that they can get it wrong. He had the test where they shine a light in the eyes and I've been told it's quite accurate but I think we'll just have to see how well ds can see with the glasses.

Maybe they were right & I was wrong. But it didn't feel like it. There are bound to be some MNers who are opticians - I hope one comes along in a minute to put me right!

AugustRose Tue 12-Nov-13 19:44:07

Hi my DS is 2 years 8 months and has had his glasses for 8 months. He is very long sighted and has squints in both eyes. He was examined with just a light and the consultant looking through a lens and was given quite a strong presciption. It's actually amazing that they can be that accurate doing it this way but it is rignt. I have a DD who has glasses and her initial tests were done this way and her eyesight has improved massively.

I was quite surprised at my DS's presciption (+4.00 in both eyes) because apart from the squints he never appeared to have difficulty seeing either close up or far away but as soon as he put the glasses on you could tell there was a big difference beacuse he stood in the opticians looking around at everything with a big smile on his face.

Do you have a follow up appointment? You usually have one wtihin 3 months to make sure everything is OK. If not and you think they are affecting his vision then you can take him straight back. I think it is better to try the glasses than not as any problem needs to be helped as early as possible.

Hope this helps.

TownhouseMummy Wed 13-Nov-13 19:12:28

Thank you AugustRose, that's encouraging. We'll collect the glasses on Friday and I'll give them a go whilst DH is at work! We do have a follow up, in 2 months. I don't know whether they intend to test again or just look at the squint but I agree that we can bring up any concerns.

hazlinh Thu 14-Nov-13 06:38:07

DD was severely shortsighted from a very young age, around 3-4yo. She was 9.0 in one eye and 4.0 in the other! I was actually shocked at the time, and took her to three different eye doctors because I wanted to make sure it was correct. All three gave slightly different readings although more or less the same, so that's when I had to face reality! She was squinting every time she watched tv, that's why I took her to the eye doctor in the first place. She stopped squinting after she got her glasses. The good news is that her eyesight has improved a little bit over the years (she is 9 now), and both eyes are now slightly closer to each other in vision. There are two ways of checking kids' eyesight, with dd they asked her to identify pictures, and they also put special dilating drops in during another appointment and then looked at her eyes. with the drops, the vision will be a bit blurry for 3-4 days after.

17leftfeet Thu 14-Nov-13 06:57:38

I thought dd's eyes were fine but she was monitored from 6 months due to a strong family history and got her first prescription at 18 months

She could identify characters, shapes etc no problem but once she got those glasses she refused to take them off so it was obvious what a big difference they made to her

The earlier children's eyes are treated the more successful the outcome -please use the glasses

TownhouseMummy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:09:39

Thanks hazlinh that's really encouraging to hear her eyes have improved a bit. DS is shortsighted too but I do have some family history (but I escaped!). Yes I think we need to trial the glasses. DH still insisting we get a second opinion but he's now satisfied we won't do any long term damage putting him in glasses even if they're too strong.

Karoleann Fri 15-Nov-13 22:02:29

I think it's more likely that you child is long sighted. He will have a + sign next to his prescription if he is.
Young children are able to adapt the lens in their eyes in order to see better, so a 3 year old child who is +4.00 will be able to see long distance perfectly (though this prescription will usually cause one eye to squint (turn in)). A +4.00 prescription in a 25 year old will make their driving vision blurred and the same prescription in a 50 year old will make their vision very blurred all the time.
If your 17mo doesn't wear the glasses prescribed, his eye that is turning in will never develop properly and he will have a permenantly lazy eye, so one eye that will never see as well as the other one, even with glasses or contact lenses, or surgery.
So basically whilst the glasses will not make him see more clearly they will help both eyes work together, developing normally and getting some 3d vision.

are you sure he isnt long sighted as I think long-sight is more common in children? I noticed dd had a squint around 18 months old and she ended up with glasses for long sight - she still wear glasses at age 10 due to her prescription (around +4.5 and +5.5 in each eye - as pp said the + means she is long sighted).

She had patching treatment as the vision in her left eye wasnt as good as the right eye. She also had an eye operation at age 4 as her squint was still noticeable with her glasses on.

TownhouseMummy Sat 16-Nov-13 19:45:18

Hi definitely short sighted, the consultant was quite surprised. He's got the glasses and wearing them and seems fine. DH has accepted them too so now we will see what they say in January about surgery/patching

Twighlightsparkle Sun 17-Nov-13 08:08:28

Such a shame you haven't been given info at the hospital, so you can understand what and why!

I agree with karolanne, my suggestion would be to phone the hospital and have a chat with someone, orthopedist prob be best and they will tell you all you need to know

Twighlightsparkle Sun 17-Nov-13 08:08:44

Orthoptist

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