Cole’s Story: Don’t Delay Seeing a Pediatric Ophthalmologist
Growing up, Amanda was in glasses by the age of three. When it came time for Amanda to start her family, in the back of her mind she always knew it was a strong possibility that any child she would have would need glasses, too. Even though she knew this, once her son Cole was born, this thought quickly faded into the background. Amanda was immersed in the care and duties of parenting and with Cole’s development on track, she didn’t have time to think or worry about the specifics of his vision.
Once Cole had reached school age, Amanda was quickly reminded that he might need some vision correction. While part of her was not surprised he had failed a vision screening at school, another part of her felt that he was still functioning well. She admits she “kind of dragged her feet” when it came to getting him seen by an eye doctor. All parents can relate to this hesitancy. With so many parental obligations and the responsibilities of running a household, it is difficult to make the time. After hearing more about Cole and Amanda’s story, this will be a reminder to us all about the importance of getting our children’s vision screened by a pediatric ophthalmologist like Dr. Dawn Duss.
First Appointment with Dr. Duss
Cole’s first appointment with Dr. Duss was shocking. He was seeing 20/400 out of his right eye. What exactly did this number mean for Cole?
Visual acuity is a number that indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision. A visual acuity measurement of 20/400 means that a person with 20/400 vision who is 20 feet from an eye chart sees what a person with unimpaired (or 20/20) vision can see from 400 feet away. – visionaware.org
In addition to having low vision, his right eye turned in. Cole therefore had what is referred to as strabismic amblyopia.
What is Strabismic Amblyopia?
Strabismic amblyopia develops when the eyes are not straight. One eye may turn in, out, up or down. When this happens, the brain begins to ignore, or “turns off” the eye that is not straight and the vision subsequently drops in that eye. – aaops.org
Dr. Duss quickly formulated a treatment plan consisting of glasses for Cole and patching his left eye for six hours a day. Naturally, Amanda felt very overwhelmed at this prospect, but as a determined mother and caregiver, she had no doubt she would follow through. It was a power struggle to say the least and Cole fought the process tooth and nail. Amanda says, “The first three weeks were awful. It was a fight every single day.”
On a subsequent follow-up visit, Amanda’s hard work with Cole ultimately paid off in spades. Cole’s vision improved dramatically in his right eye. Here is Amanda’s reaction in her own words:
When we went back for a follow-up I was shocked to find out that Cole had gained five lines of vision and went from 20/200 with glasses, to 20/50 with glasses! I couldn’t believe it. All the tears (from both of us) had been worth it. It was the best news I could have ever gotten. I have Dr. Duss and her entire staff to thank for the encouragement and support they gave to Cole and to me. We are going back in two months and our hoping for continued improvement. Very happy mommy!
The staff of Pediatric Eye Consultants are a caring and supportive group. They will help you get your child their best vision without judgment of when or how you get them into their office. Once you are through those front doors, all that matters is your child’s vision. If you have any concerns about your child not seeing clearly, please call Pediatric Eye Consultants today to schedule an appointment.