Sunday, July 24, 2011

strabismus

I am taking a diversion, pun intended, from my normal pilot wife stuff to sound off about Ben's latest MD visit.  I am a mom, after all, so I figure if someone does an Internet search on strabismus, they can find us.

This picture of Ben was the first picture taken that confirmed my thought that he may have a drifting eye:

Here is another picture that showcases his drifting.  His eyes are all out of whack.  His cousin is next to him, which is a good comparison of what his eyes should look like:



I noticed drifting for about a month before we took him to the MD. My sister had this condition, as did my maternal grandfather, so this topic isn't totally foreign to me.  We made an appointment with his normal pediatrician, but he didn't see anything.  He trusted that we saw something and referred us to a specialist.  Sure enough, Ben was diagnosed with strabismus and amblyopia.  

These conditions play into each other.  In lay terms, strabismus is a lazy/drifting eye.  Ambylopia is when the vision in the weak eye decreases.  Basically, the weak eye turns itself off since it doesn't want to work too hard.  Normally, your eyes each see an image and the brain takes each image and forms it into one image in the brain.  Now, with the drifting, the brain can't combine the two images to just one image, so the weak eye turns off to take the easy road out.  A child won't outgrow this condition, so a child need therapy/surgery...if a child hits a certain age without treatment, the eye can not be fixed and the eye may become blind. 

The treatment for Ben was patching for 4 hours a day, for 2 months.  We went to the drug store and bought basic eye patches, but those aren't fun for kids:
Daddy was trying to be funny with this design

We bought these patches from Orthopad USA.  Specifically, we ordered the Orthopad Elite Boys.  


Ben is almost 4, and a rather big kid, so we got the regular size which was perfect for him.  I couldn't have been happier with them!  I found that the basic ones at the drug store may have been cheaper, but at the end of the 4 hours, Ben would pull them off and his skin would be irritated.  The Orthopad patches never irritated his eye, and the designs were fun.  They even have a little shimmer to them, which is cute.  Worth the money.

Now that I plugged the patches, which I feel like I had to do since I took a chance on them since I couldn't find a review myself, let's talk about his last MD appointment: we got the best news!  Ben's drifting and vision has improved by 60-70%!  I was grinning from ear to ear as the MD was talking.  This was just fantastic news!  

The MD told us there were three scenario:
- we didn't patch him, as instructed, and his vision and drifting got worse = surgery
- we patched him, his vision improved but his drifting got worse = surgery
- we patched him, his vision improved and his drifting got better = continue the therapy for 4 months.

Ben is the last scenario.  We are to continue to patch for 4 hours a day for 4 more months.  There is still a 50/50 chance of surgery, but I am praying that the therapy will work.  Ben has been very receptive to patching, so there is rarely a fight.  Steve and I, as well as grandparents when in their care, are all very stern on the therapy, so Ben knows there is no wiggle room with this. 

And here is the latest picture of Ben...his eye looks great!


And for fun, the many patches of Ben:











1 comment:

  1. Great news!
    I hope the patching continues to work!

    ReplyDelete