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To worry about my baby sight

(12 Posts)
voscar Tue 23-Oct-12 09:00:08

My son is 12 weeks old on Thursday. He's a happy baby most of the time, lots of smiles, sleeps through the night, and only really gets upset when he is hungry.

However I am very concerned about his eyes. He doesn't look at me, he doesn't focus on objects near or far, doesn't follow things with his eyes. I can stand in front of him and he doesn't seem to realise I am there unless I touch or speak to him.

He DOES seem to stare at lights and windows, he gets annoyed if he is lain in a position where he can't stare about, which he does a lot of, just doesn't stare/focus on any one thing.

I don't know if this is all relevant, but his right eye had a blocked tear duct, is slightly smaller than the left and gets a bit red when he cries. He's also been a bit slow to support his head. He's almost there now, but still nods quite a bit. He was born at 37 weeks, is our first child and I had an emergency section after a 60 hour labour.

I raised with the doctor 3 weeks ago and he said "possible squint'. I've watched him closely since and he doesn't have a squint and I'm frustrated that the doctor dismissed our concerns.

I have another appointment with a different doctor tomorrow to discuss it all and hopefully get a referral to a paediatric doctor.

I was hoping someone out there might have experience of this? Or be able to offer some advice?

Much appreciated in advance - worried mum! X

megandraper Tue 23-Oct-12 09:09:38

Hi Voscar,

I am not an expert on baby sight problems (although I am registered blind myself). Can't tell whether you have something to worry about here or not, but I think you should insist on being referred to a paediatric opthalmologist (i.e. a specialist in children's eyes). I think that's the only person who can either set your mind at rest, or confirm that there is an issue which needs to be dealt wtih.

As an FYI though, this website suggests that tracking with the eyes doesn't develop until about 16 weeks, so that doesn't sound like a problem.

Do you have other children / have you spent time with other babies of this age - do you notice a difference between your son and other 12 week olds?

BionicEmu Tue 23-Oct-12 09:16:54

My son had eyes which didn't look quite right from when he was born. I asked my HV about it and she said lots of babies have squints etc when they are born, their eye muscles need to develop just as much as all their other muscles. Most eye problems resolve themselves by the time they're 6 months old. I made up some black & white flashcards to try and encourage him to focus on things.

DS's eyes hadn't, so he was referred to a paediatric opthalmologist. She did some tests and confirmed that yes, he does have a squint. He is now 2 years old and goes to the opthalmologist every 4 months. So far, he's still got the squint but they're just monitoring it as he's still too young for them to do anything about it.

voscar Tue 23-Oct-12 09:17:39

Thanks bed hopper - I have compared to the other babies from his nct class and they are all far more advanced, despite him being about two weeks older. They all seem to look at and hold eye contact with their parents.

Thanks for the advice - that's exactly what I'm hoping to get from the doctor. The article you linked to does offer some reassurance too - perhaps he's just a late developer.

Its not about when he was born age wise its about how much time he had inside (gestation). My DD was born at 42 weeks but my DN was born at 38 weeks, there was a huge difference between what they could do for many months, my DN was late holding up her head and focusing whereas my DD could do it at a few weeks.

(they are both now 2 and DN is ahead with language and DD is ahead with motor skills)

However. Mummy instinct is a powerful thing, take him to a opthalmologist not an optician as my damn HV kept arranging and see what they say. Have you any black and white baby books? Those are the colours that they see first.

MrsReiver Tue 23-Oct-12 09:31:07

My DS has had glasses since he was 11 months old (getting him to keep them on at that age was fun and games, but he looked so cute!) I knew there was something wrong with his eyes and that he had a squint despite being repeatedly fobbed off by the HV. He was struggling to focus on things and track moving objects as well.

Stick to you guns, as others have said Mum's instinct is powerful. Hopefully there is nothing wrong with your little one, but if there is, early intervention is key.

megandraper Tue 23-Oct-12 09:37:00

Good luck voscar.

Moominsarescary Tue 23-Oct-12 09:41:10

Hi voscar ds2 was the same and he was born at 36 weeks, it was so bad my mil was convinced he was blind. He isn't, he was just slower to develope than other babies born around the 40 week mark. He's 9 now and you wouldn't know he was early. He caught up around the age of 2.

However if you are really worried it doesn't hurt to get a second opinion

dysfunctionalme Tue 23-Oct-12 09:48:32

How do his eyes look in photographs? Take a few.
It was only when I studied photographs that I could see my daughter's eye problems. And ask people you trust, your family etc. They will be honest with you. The reason I ask this is that a friend's mother noticed something "funny" about her baby's eye and it turned out to be very serious. I agree to insist on seeing a paedeatric opthamologist

sadie3 Tue 23-Oct-12 09:52:09

Take him to the doctors to put your mid at rest.

sadie3 Tue 23-Oct-12 09:52:56

Sorry I just read that you are. Good luck, Im sure it will all be fine x

voscar Tue 23-Oct-12 15:27:19

Thanks everyone. I do have black and white books and we do use them with him - they get a second of attention but every second counts to me. We will start using them more!

I've been through photographs and his slightly smaller eye is noticeable. But apart from that I can't see anything else noticeable.

Appreciate all of the advice - particularly other people stories - it's a comfort to know others have been here and had positive outcomes.

Thank you everyone.

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