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My child gone cross eyed from watching iPad

(53 Posts)
Beemommy Sun 07-Jan-18 00:22:19

My cute little boy who just has turned 2 years old two weeks ago has gone cross eyed literally overnight... Now every time I look at his pretty little face and see his eyes crossing I feel extremely guilty and that I failed as a parent...Everytime I look at him I want to cry.. and we didn't even get his glasses yet...
We took him to the doctor today and he said that he has no major vision issues and the reason for the squint is unknown but when I asked if it maybe from iPad he said that definitely yes... he prescribed the patch and the glasses and said to give it a try for 2 months and if he doesn't improve he will need surgery.
Is there any chance for improvement? Anything else that can be done?
Any support is appreciated as I'm so devastated...

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 00:38:52

Hi, Just wanted to reassure you that you have done nothing wrong.
There is nothing you could have done to prevent this and it certainly hasn't been caused by the iPad.
He will have always had this underlying tendency to squint and around 2 years is the most common age for children to present with a squint. This is the time they start to want to focus on things more - books/ipads/the world in general. If there is more longsightedness than normal they have to work harder to focus and this effort pulls the eyes inward. The glasses will have been prescribed to relax the focusing.
The amount of longsight and therefore the glasses strength is largely down to the physical size of the eyeball. You can't change his eyeball size anymore than you can change the size of his feet. Like I said this is nothing you have done.
Patching is done if one eye is seeing better than the other, the aim being to improve vision in the weaker eye. Patching will not help the squint or change the need for glasses.
You have done exactly the right thing by taking him to have his eyes checked and getting treatment.

TheFSMisreal Sun 07-Jan-18 00:41:52

That's not a thing ...

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 00:42:59

Adding - if the glasses improve the squint to a cosmetically good level then surgery shouldn't be needed.
Surgery will only be considered if there is a cosmetically poor squint even with glasses and the decision will always be yours to make.
I would suggest writing a list of questions and asking your Orthoptist at your next appointment.

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 00:44:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MotherofaSurvivor Sun 07-Jan-18 00:46:10

Why would they lie to the OP though? 'That's not a thing' either

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 00:48:51

For some reason the link I posted isn't working but look at squintclinic.com as it is a really good website.

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 00:49:56

What's not a thing??

Feelings Sun 07-Jan-18 00:52:28

It sounds like your son has a congenital squint not something that you get from looking at an iPad too long, I seriously doubt that even exists.

When you say doctor do you mean an ophthalmologist? A doctor cannot check a child's eyes and prescribe patches and glasses, it needs to be done by somebody specially trained.

mirandasings Sun 07-Jan-18 00:59:01

Why so quick to suggest surgery?? After only two month is ridiculous. My child has been wearing glasses for two years with patches for nearly a year. Only now has there even been mention of surgery and that’s just a possibility.

Maybe you should get a second opinion.

And I also agree it’s not a thing. You don’t go “crossed eyed” over night from watching an iPad!

TheFSMisreal Sun 07-Jan-18 00:59:37

IPads causing squints. Its not a thing. If you have a squint and concentrate on something (ie a tablet) it can present, ie turn in. But it doesn't cause it. Also you don't take a 2 year old to a doctor to test their eyes, you take them to the hospital. And they won't do surgery for atleast a year and only if it effects their sight.

mirandasings Sun 07-Jan-18 00:59:51

What country are you in OP?

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 01:03:01

Terms that may be useful to know:

Strabismus - proper name for squint
Amblyopia - reduced vision and the reason for a patch
Hypermetropia - longsightedness
Convergent squint/ Esotropia - an eye that turns inward
Fully accommodative Esotropia - glasses completely straighten the eye (it will still turn when glasses taken off)
Partially accommodative Esotropia - glasses improve the squint but do not fully straighten it.
Non- accommodative Esotropia - glasses do not help the appearance/are not needed.

The diagnosis between the different types can only be made once he is reviewed and tested with the glasses on.

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 01:13:03

TheFSMisreal - you're right looking at an iPad does not cause a squint.

Surgery falls into 2 categories.
Functional - if having surgery will help the eyes work together as a pair/ improve 3d vision.
Cosmetic - if having surgery will improve the appearance of the squint but not help the eyes work together better.

Most squint surgery is cosmetic.
Whereas patching needs to be done before 7/8 years in most cases while the visual system can still be influenced,
surgery has no cut off age.
Surgery does not improve vision or change the amount of longsight present.

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 01:18:51

In the hospital setting in England we have a team consisting of:

Ophthalmologist - a doctor who has specialised in eyes. They check the health of the eye and do surgery if needed. (We do just call them the doctor.)

Optician - they check the need for glasses and issue a prescription.

Orthoptist - they monitor the squint and vision, advise on glasses wear, patching and surgery.

Beemommy Sun 07-Jan-18 01:36:01

Thanks everyone...
@miranda I am in Dubai... so probably they have different timelines here than in UK??
@ boellesmum I have seen both orthopist who confirmed squint in both eyes and ophthalmologist who specializes in stabism in children... why would he be saying it is from iPad if that's not the case?? He said that 80% of the causes for squint are unknown though...
DS doesn't have any longsightedness just slight and the doctor said it's very normal for his age and can't be the cause of the squint
So the surgery would be just a cosmetic one...
I've been reading though that glasses can worsen the squint when you take them off as the child will try to focus more and replicate vision he had with the glasses on...so how they supposed to improve the squint?? I'm confused...

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 08:27:02

Hi, I am wondering if the doctor meant using the iPad has caused the squint to appear rather than caused it. It would have happened anyway though and was just as likely to happen when looking at a book.
It is normal for children to be longsighted. Longsighted eyes are small eyes - children are small so they have small eyes. As the eyes grow longsight tends to reduce and if the eyes continue to grow they become short sighted as short sighted eyes are big eyes. A normal amount of longsight for a child is anything up to around +2.00 and this would not be ordered unless there is a squint and they want to see if it helps. They are ordered to help the squint rather than for vision.
There is a connection between how much we focus and how much the eyes pull in. When you look in the distance your eyes are straight and lens relaxed. When you look at near your lens accommodates and your eyes pull in. There is a ratio between the two. If you are longsighted you have to accommodate more so the eyes pull in more and if this is too great to control the eye will squint. Relaxing the accommodation with glasses relaxes out the squint - but weak glasses may not help much which is why surgery was mentioned.
Sometimes children will squint more when they take glasses off than before they had them. This usually happens with larger amounts of longsight. You have shown them how clear the world can be with glasses so they subconsciously try to get that back without them by accommodating more and therefore pulling the eye in more. This is normal and nothing to worry about. The important thing is what the eye position is like with the glasses.
If glasses don't help the cosmesis and the cosmesis is poor then surgery will be offered at some point - there is no cut off age for this and the ball is in your court. The only time it needs to be done early is in functional cases rather than cosmetic.
If glasses don't help the squint it generally will either be a congenital non accomodative Esotropia (most likely)or a convergence excess Esotropia.Your Orthoptist will explain this to you and go through a treatment plan.
I hope that helps?

UnitedKungdom Sun 07-Jan-18 08:31:49

iPad won't cause squint! But turning 2 will! That's when they usually start to present.

PPs have given good advice and info.

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 08:31:55

Can I just emphasise again please do not feel guilty and you have not failed. You are doing a great job.
The parents who fail are the ones who can't be bothered to seek help, who don't turn up for appointments when a problem has been diagnosed and who don't bother with the patching so the vision doesn't improve.
Believe me there are a lot if them!

moita Sun 07-Jan-18 10:18:10

If Ipads caused squints, most adults would be walking around with a squint! Please don't blame yourself

Beemommy Sun 07-Jan-18 11:53:51

@boellesmum thanks for the support and info...you seem to be a real specialist in the field.
Just one more question- so if you say the eyes may cross more without glasses then he will have to always wear them?? And the squint will only be fixed (if ever fixed) when the glasses are on?
The doctor mentioned as well that if the squint is not fixed on time this may cause the lazy eye to stop working at all ...that's why the surgery is needed soon if he doesn't improve with the glasses.

Beemommy Sun 07-Jan-18 11:56:33

@moita welll...he explained that as our vision is already developed but for the little ones is still in the process that's why they are more susceptible ...

mirandasings Sun 07-Jan-18 12:04:19

My child’s squint became apparent at 18 months too so it probably just timing. Also our doctor said surgery is a cosmetic thing and they wont do surgery unless the vision improves.

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 12:19:40

I think as it would appear from what you have said that the amount of longsight is small I would be surprised if he squints significantly more without the glasses. But yes, in a child with more longsight the glasses would be long-term and they would squint more when they took them off. This would be the case in fully or partially accommodative squint.
It does surprise parents of children with fully accommodative squint that they can't have surgery to straighten the eye without the glasses. This is because glasses are needed for the eyesight as well as the squint and so would still be needed post op. The glasses move the eye by 'x' degrees from turning to straight. If the eye was made straight without the glasses the glasses would then still move the eye by 'x' degrees but now it would turn out with the glasses on. This would be cosmetically worse hence no surgery.
In your little ones case it may be that the glasses are only a trial to see if they help the squint and if they don't, and are not needed for vision they may not be needed post op. This is obviously hypothetical as I don't know his case and haven't examined him but if you ask your Orthoptist they will explain all this in relation to your son.
If your Ophthalmologist is talking about early surgery they may be considering that your son's is a functional case and has the potential to regain 3D vision if his eyes were straightened. Again I would definitely ask your Orthoptist if this is the case - it may well be if the squint suddenly appeared and they feel he had binocular function before it occurred.
The majority of squint operations are cosmetic and the aim is not to straighten the eye but leave it turned in slightly. This guards against drifting out over time as the eye muscles naturally weaken.

booellesmum Sun 07-Jan-18 12:28:03

@mirandasings - if surgery is purely for cosmetic reasons then it makes sense to treat the amblyopia (reduced vision) with patching first. This is for 2 reasons, firstly improving vision is time sensitive and for most children with a squint patching only only works during what is called the critical period when the visual cells are still developing and can be influenced which ends at around 7/8 years. Cosmetic squint surgery has no cut off age. Secondly there is more incentive for the brain to keep an eye where it is surgically put if the vision is better. Eyes with very weak vision do unfortunately tend to wander again post op.

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