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3 yo with eyesight problems

(11 Posts)
miam Fri 21-Jan-05 21:24:37

dd4 has just had her pre-school eyesight test and has been referred because it seems she is short-sighted.

As none of my other children have had problems with their sight, could someone tell me why she needs to have drops put in her eyes before she attends her next eye-test, and how do children so young adapt to wearing glasses (if she does require them)? Thanks. xx

miam Fri 21-Jan-05 21:49:25


Miaou Fri 21-Jan-05 22:30:42

miam, dd1 had glasses at the age of 4 due to a squint; I don't honestly remember about the eyedrops except that I think it helps the optometrist when they come to examine her eyes? But dd1 loved her glasses from the moment she got them, mainly because her eyesight was so poor that she was immediately able to see the benefit. There was a thread a while ago with myself, frogs and merrygoround on it - mgr was having problems getting her dd to wear patches and glasses, and there was quite a bit of good advice on that thread - I'll go and see if I can find it for you.

Miaou Fri 21-Jan-05 22:40:04

here's the patching thread - hope it is of some use!

frogs Fri 21-Jan-05 23:00:02

Miam, the purpose of the eyedrops (some kind of atropine-related substance) is to dilate the pupil so that the optometrist or ophthalmologist can see inside the eye. This is particularly the case with younger children, as it's hard to test them reliably any other way.

If your child has blue eyes, one set of drops is usually enough, if she has brown eyes, it may take two goes. Some hospitals will offer a spray instead of drops, which feels less 'wet', and so may be less upsetting. The drops take about half an hour to take effect, and then another few hours to wear off. During this time your child will have blurred vision and may find the light hurts her eyes.

Personally I found bribery the best way to deal with the situation -- whipping out a packet of smarties at the crucial moment is a great distractor. Since it's her first time, she won't know what's coming down the tracks, which gives you the advantage!

If she can see much better with her glasses, you'll probably have very little resistance to wearing them. We've never had any problems in that department, tho' we've had occasional stupid comments from other children. dd1 never really understood the point of these, since from her perspective, she could see with her glasses on, and couldn't see without them. Something of a no-brainer.

But do post again or CAT me if you want more info.

miam Sat 22-Jan-05 10:19:55

Thankyou so much miaou and frogs - I suppose it is a bit of a daft thing to worry about really, but anything new is a bit daunting! I imagine she will cope with it a whole lot better than I will! That thread is a big comfort - lots of useful info. I will let you know how it goes (by the way she has blue eyes so hopefully she will only need 1 of the dreaded drops...). Thanks again. xx

frogs Sat 22-Jan-05 10:43:59

Glad you're feeling better, miam!

btw, try not to feel guilty about the whole thing. When I finally woke up to the fact that dd1 might possibly have sight problems and got round to taking her to the opticians, she not only couldn't read the letters on the chart, she couldn't see that there were any letters, or a chart for that matter. It didn't help that the optician was clearly completely freaked out by the whole situation, and insisted that I take ther o the eye hospital emergency department there and then.

Eeek. Bad mother alert. But it's very hard in a child that age to tell the difference between not being able to see and not bothering to look properly. She's fine now, though she has short sight of the order of -6.5, which is a lot for a 9yo. But it's no-one's fault, and as long as it's correctable with glasses, there's no point getting worked up about it.

Good luck, and don't forget the sweeties!

miam Sat 22-Jan-05 10:55:18

Do you know frogs, I did not realise it until now that I have been blaming myself - which is daft!! dd4 has had a few health problems - has been much much slower than the older 3 with toilet-training etc and in currently on the waiting list to see a speech therapist. This problem with her eyesight was a bit of a shock, and I have been wondering if I did something during pregnancy that could have caused these things!! Daft I suppose - like you said, it's no-one's fault and thankfully they have discovered these problems early on. Thanks so much frogs. I really appreciate your kind words . I will have plenty of sweeties to hand (for me too lol). xx

SofiaAmes Sat 22-Jan-05 20:01:18

My ds had glasses prescribed at the age of 3 and looks soooooooooo cute in them, I can't imagine him without them. He adapted to them right away (I'm told this is fairly normal as they are so much happier seeing properly that they tend to take to them very quickly). We have had them repaired 6 times and replaced twice in the first year, but it was all done for free. After the first replacement I asked the optometrist for a 2nd prescription so we'd have an extra pair around for emergencies and he was happy to give it to me.
My ds didn't mind the drops at all.....was too busy trying to corner a nurse to find out what was in the locked cupboard in the waiting room...he did actually find one in the end and bullied her into opening it to show him its contents.

Miaou Sat 22-Jan-05 20:52:06

Glad you're feeling more reassured, miam - frogs is the best for this kind of info! I too felt really bad about dd's squint - it was only just caught in time to do something about it, and too late to stop it having a permanent effect on her eyesight. But you can spend your life beating yourself up over things that really you have very little control over, and I sincerely doubt that dd1 will blame us in the future for not spotting the squint in time, particularly as the hv never spotted it either. Move onwards and upwards, I say - look upon it all as a great adventure for you and dd4 to undertake together.

miam Sun 23-Jan-05 15:25:17

Thanks for your lovely comments - really appreciated. Sofia, I do think she will look very cute with glasses, and am more confident that she will be fine with them thanks to all of your experiences. Miaou, you are definately right - no more beating ourselves up!!! Thanks again. xx

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