Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 21 - Ella's eyes

Ella first got glasses a year ago this month. I was so sad that she needed them, it was just one more thing to deal with and I just KNEW that she would never wear them! Well, she wears them pretty darn good. Shortly after she got her glasses though one of her eyes started crossing really bad (it had been crossing just a little bit before) and then just a couple of weeks after that the other eye joined, so both were crossing in. So in March of this year Ella had surgery to tighten the muscles on both eyes.

The surgery wasn't too bad, the hard part was keeping Ella from rubbing her eyes, especially in her sleep, and the eye drops several times a day was no picnic. But otherwise Ella didn't seem to experience any pain from the surgery. We were told that she may have to have surgery again at sometime in the future and that her prescription would likely improve after the surgery, though she has a bad enough astigmatism that she will likely always need glasses.

So, about a month and a half or so after surgery we head back into the eye doctor to see if her vision has changed. Indeed it did! It went from a +2.25 in both eyes to a +1.0 in one and +2.0 in the other. I was telling the eye doctor about this weird thing that Ella was doing, if I were to hold out a flashcard and ask her what color it was she would kind of look at it but would then turn her head really quick and just blurt out some random color. The doctor was saying it was likely some behavior issue, and I said I didn't really think so that it was just really strange when she did it. So she tried out a few things and low and behold Ella was having focusing problems. From what I understand (which could be completely wrong, LOL) when someone is farsighted and they try to focus on something up close their eyes cross from straining to focus and that is what was happening to Ella, even though she was wearing her glasses. And of course when you cross your eyes things get blurry. So, while she was wearing her glasses the eye doctor held up an additional lens and it allowed Ella's eyes to relax and focus right in on what the doctor was holding up. So, Ella now wears bifocals. There is just something so wrong about a 4 year old needing bifocals to me! The good news is that Ella could grow out of her focusing problem, the doctor said in fact most kids do by the age of 8 or 9. We had some major problems with getting her bifocals fitted just right. In small children the bifocal line is supposed to dissect the pupil, meaning that the bifocal line is supposed to sit right in the middle of the pupil (which for the record would drive me insane.) Ella wasn't exactly the most helpful child with the glasses place was trying to draw a line on her old glasses to line it all up. When the glasses came back the line was above her entire eye and the lady tried convincing me that they were right and to give it a week. The next day I hauled Ella into the eye doctors and showed them and I was right, they were awful, so they drew the lines on themselves and after about a month of back and forth she finally got the glasses back and they were correct. I have spent $600 on glasses (she has 2 pair) in the past year on Ella that's not including the $200 that our insurance covers every other year. Ella has been wearing her bifocals since the end of June and does really well with them! Here they are....
You have to look really close to see the line. They look below her eye but if you are looking at her at exactly her eye level they are where they are supposed to be : )
These were taken Wednesday morning, Ella's school picture day, we were practicing : )

We were back at the eye doctor in September, because we go every 3-4 months and the doctor said that one of her eyes was starting to cross again. Sigh. But that they still looked good in her glasses. We go back in December and hopefully everything is still fine, which I'm thinking it is but the world is taking my surprise these days : ) My big fear is the Graves' Disease messing with her eyes. I just might go crazy, or crazier!

Our kids with Ds, at least mine anyway, are kind of hard sometime to tell if their eyes are crossing or not. They have wide, flat nasal bridges in addition to the epicanthic fold and it makes it hard to judge whether they are having true crossing or pseudo crossing (where it appears that their eyes are crossing but it's actually just the nasal bridge getting in the way.) For me it's hard to tell with Ella. I mean before she had surgery it was not hard to tell at all she was DEFINITELY crossing. But now it's a bit harder. She doesn't have a whole lot of the whites of her eyes that shows on the inside corner of her eye anyway so when less is showing it looks like it is crossing. So, for an example in the picture below is her right eye crossing a bit or is she just looking to the left a bit so the white of her eye is hidden by her nasal bridge? I don't know and frankly I don't notice it unless I see pictures.

This was the night before school pics as I was trying to figure out which shirt looked best with her face and how I wanted to do her hair : )


Runningmama said...

Emily has bifocals too! She has accomodative esotropia (focusing problem due to farsightedness). We still have a hard time getting her to wear her glasses I am hoping that as she gets older it won't be as much of a problem! Ella looks beautiful, I love, love, love her hair!

Mary said...

I find it hysterical that you practise for school pictures. My boys are lucky to have an ironed shirt and an envelope with money all filled out before they head off to have school pictures taken.