It’s normal for them. I know this. I see it everyday. Yet when it was right under my nose in my own home, I was completely shocked. Let me explain:

My 3.5 year old son would be classified as an easy kid. He’s mellow, obedient and frankly pretty cute. Contrast with his 8 year old sister who is one out of three.

My little guy stops into the office here and there to say hello and so I’ve been monitoring his eyes for a few years. He’s always had a mild amount of astigmatism but just like I tell my patients: I’m not going to prescribe eyeglasses for anyone (especially a toddler) unless they are absolutely necessary. For goodness sakes he sees every airplane in the sky, all the antelope on the side of the road and picks out all kinds of pictures in his books.

Happy camper

Happy camper now that he can see.

Berto passed all of his pediatrician eye screenings with flying colors and probably would have passed his school screening the same. Well when the little gremlin showed up to the office a month ago I was quite surprised to see where his prescription had settled. The biggest problem was not an increase in the prescription strength but now there was a large difference between the right and left eyes. That’s a huge risk factor for amblyopia or “lazy eye.”

So we ordered his first pair of glasses and it was so gratifying when he put them on and said “I can see effweeefang!” He wore them the first day with absolutely zero complaints. The next morning was a struggle at home but my super wife laid down the law that awake time meant eyeglasses on. That was fine until the yellow strap holding them on was hurting his ears and head. A quick switch to the blue strap solved that problem. Probably only a matter of time before we need to switch back :) So far we don’t need to patch his better eye to make his weaker eye stronger but that’s the next step to monitor and treat the amblyopia risk.

The magic blue strap. The springy look at the temples allow them to bend. That's wonderful as it them less likely to break and more comfortable for an active toddler.

The magic blue strap. The springy look at the temples allow them to bend. That’s wonderful as it makes them less likely to break and more comfortable for an active toddler.

The craziest part of this experience was my own thought process….”I don’t want to condemn him to a lifetime of glasses. Maybe we’ll just let nature run it’s course and his eyes will auto strengthen.” Huh? I can cite study after study with thousands and thousands of patients where eyeglasses prescription for astigmatism is not affected by: eyeglasses, weak eyeglasses, strong eyeglasses, bifocals, contact lenses, etc. Yet when it was my child, all those questions I get from parents came right to the forefront. Thankfully we can refer to science vs. emotion in this case.

All in all it’s a great reminder to all parents (especially this one) to let an eye doctor take a look at those kiddos. We can evaluate them as young as 6 months.

-Dr. Bundy