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Just found out my son is nearly blind in one eye. What now?!

(42 Posts)
thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 18:47:16

DS (nearly 5) came home from school today with a letter saying he needed an eye referral. So I asked him about his eyes.

He told me that one of his eyes makes me look like an alien. He said it doesn't work because it doesn't let enough light in (perceptive I thought!). I held up two fingers and asked how many and he couldn't do it. He said he couldn't see the fingers.

He can see something with it, he said it made my eyes look all black, like I'm an alien, but I look like a human with the other eye.

I asked him if it's always been like this and he said no, he used to be able to see more with it.

Of course we'll get him an appointment asap, but can anyone give any advice in the meantime?

I feel shocked we've never noticed. Did we not do a good enough job of keeping his eyes out of the sun - could this be sun damage? (Probably just blaming myself, but I can't help it.)

What might cause it? Could his other eye be at risk? Should I know / do anything?

IslaValargeone Fri 29-Nov-13 18:53:19

What was the qualification of the person doing the eye test, school nurse or optomotrist? I'm speaking from a layman's perspective here, but I think I'd be inclined to take him to hospital in case it is a detatched retina?

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 18:54:59

Good point I'll call NHS direct

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 19:08:01

I called 111, they're going to call back within 6 hours.

What's 111? Is it basically NHS direct? (I called 08454647 and it said to call 111).

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 19:09:28

I used to live relatively near moorfields eye hospital too. I wonder what the provision is like here.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 19:10:11

How do you tell if it's a detached retina?

IslaValargeone Fri 29-Nov-13 19:10:48

Yes it replaced NHS direct, it is for urgent but not life threatening medical matters.
6 hours! gosh that's a long wait.
Are you near to a hospital or is that not an option right now?

Moreisnnogedag Fri 29-Nov-13 19:11:34

I'd take him to an optician sharpish. They are really really good at picking up things.

Just to let you know, my sister is almost completely blind in one eye following an accident as a child. She can drive and lives a perfectly normal life.

IslaValargeone Fri 29-Nov-13 19:13:56

I believe some of the symptoms are floaters and dark shadows amongst other things.
How long has your son been aware his eyes have been playing up, can he remember?

Umanayana Fri 29-Nov-13 19:19:20

How worrying for you! To be honest if one of mine had lost sight so rapidly, I would be inclined to take them to A & E. Hope you get some answers quickly.

supergreenuk Fri 29-Nov-13 19:20:30

Sounds really distressing. Huge hugs.

FrauMoose Fri 29-Nov-13 19:24:13

Obviously you want to know what the difficulty is and to obtain treatment. However it's worth mentioning that my stepdaughter was born without a functioning optic nerve in one eye. (Picked up at a routine eye test when she was two.) She's passed her driving test recently, went to university, did a post-graduate course, has started her chosen career, is living with long term boyfriend. She may adjust to what is called monocular vision, by turning her head slightly more in some situations. But nobody would notice. She is extremely observant/perceptive and arguably has achieved more than her sibling - who has binocular vision.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 20:27:11

Thanks for the support and advice. The doctor actually rang back straight away, pretty much. I've also called my own doc and got an appt for first thing tomorrow (love my docs, it's the walk in clinic too, so much easier to get appts than other docs I've had)

The 111 doc said it doesn't sound like it's acute. Detached retina not common in young DCs apart from those with existing very , very short eyesight. Said to make appt with doc for referral.

I hope it's not indicative of something worse. I hope it's treatable. The talk of deyatched retinas actually gave me hope it might be.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 20:28:34

DS says it wasn't always like it, it's been like it since he was three, and it wasn't so bad then.

But he has no concept of time, that could mean last week, or 3 years ago.

IslaValargeone Fri 29-Nov-13 20:51:58

Glad the doc rang back so quickly.
Hopefully you'll have a better idea tomorrow, try not to worry too much (easier said obviously)
Do let us know how you get on and I'll send some unmumsnetty hugs while I'm at it.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 21:32:15

DP asked him what he looked like with the bad eye, and whether the colours were different. DS said he could see where he was and the colours were the same but he looked like an alien and it was all black where his eyes should be.

DP asked him to identify a large letter (over an inch tall) on a page, really close but DS said he couldn't even see the letter.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 21:32:42

unmumsnetty hugs appreciated thanks smile

geologygirl Fri 29-Nov-13 21:37:57

Sounds like the retina is detaching or displaced I've had this at least twice. ..my eyes have been bad since the age of two when I suffered a head injury.

Are you in London? Take him to Moorfields?

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 21:39:26

DS said his eye used to be fine, a long time ago, then it was a bit bad, now it's worse and when he's older "it will be finished" sad

I wish he'd bloody said something! I don't blame him at all though, I know I had minor stuff wrong with me when I was little and I didn't even think to say anything as it seemed normal to me. But still, I wish I'd thought to check, just to see. I'll be checking DD's myself as she grows now.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 21:40:35

geologygirl, no, I used to live there. We're on the south coast now. My parents live up there though, we could drive up.

I have a lazy eye and what your ds describes sounds like my vision in my lazy eye. I see general shapes, colours etc but no detail. I wouldn't recognise a person and cannot read the top letter on an test when I am toe to toe with it through my lazy eye alone.

I wear glasses for a slight problem in my other eye though not constantly. There is plain glass over mynlazy eye as it is beyond help.

I get alot of mild eye strain headaches and suffer migraine from time to time which may or may not be relevant but that is all. It doesn't affect my life or ability to do anything in anyway. It looks the same as the other eye, there is no squint.

See the relevant people but try not to worry too much in the meantime.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 21:44:38

geology girl, thanks so much for replying.

I said to the doc on 111 that I was worried it was a retina detaching and he said it was unlikely to be acute. (That doesn't mean impossible! DS was more than the 99th percentile as a baby - unlikely, but he was.)

I'm really interested, why do you think it sounds like a retina detaching?

What treatment did you get? How are your eyes now?

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 29-Nov-13 21:45:59

fanoftheinvisibleman that's interesting and reassuring, thanks smile

sounds like a lazy eye where the eyesight is poorer in one eye than the other. DD had a lazy eye and was also long sighted - she had patching treatment where they cover the good eye with a patch to encourage the other eye to work - and also got glasses. She got glasses from 18 months and still has them age 10.

p.s. thats the reason they do the checks at school - to pick up eye issues that you wouldnt know about

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