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I could just cry...


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I am SOOOOO frustrated with myself.


My son probably has bilateral amblyopia (two lazy eyes). He can't be corrected any better than 20/40. In other words, he can see at 20 feet what a person with normal visual acuity can see at 40 feet. His vision can't be corrected better than this.


He's nearly 7 years old. Early treatment is so important with amblyopia because permanent vision loss occurs if it's not corrected after the eye is finished developing at the age of 8-10 years. Time is quickly running out for my boy to get this solved.


I should have been far more assertive with his eye doctor. I'm no expert in the field by any means, but I did take an interest in eye health due to my own eye issues (I have a lazy eye that wasn't corrected when I was young and have suffered because of it!) and I even worked for this optometrist for some time! I've brought my son in for yearly eye exams since he was a year old, and thought I was doing my due diligence in this department.


Anyways, he's never been able to get to the 20/20 line. I could see the doctor was slightly puzzled at this, but didn't press. It was suggested I practice that he look more in the distance as he was perhaps just used to not making his eyes look far away. I think the doc perhaps also thought he really wasn't trying. I should have pressed more on this because I could see he was.


His eyes aren't like mine. There is no obvious misalignment. He's myopic with mild astigmatism, I'm hyperopic with none. I didn't even know that a person could have a lazy eye in both eyes.... I thought amblyopia developed from the brain choosing to use the 'good eye' and ignoring the bad one. Then how does it manage to do this with both unless they're significantly undercorrected, and why would they be significantly undercorrected if he's taken yearly for his eye exam?


Why oh why didn't I persue this more when he was younger??? Now he might end up being stuck with poor vision for the rest of his life!


Grr. Okay. Vent complete. Thank you for listening!

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I know the self-incrimination thing, and it's horrible. You just have to move on to practical things and doing something about it. So they can uses lenses to correct it? Have you looked into vision therapy or a COVD doc for a 2nd opinion? Maybe there are more treatment options?


The shock is bad, feeling you should have found it (or could have prevented it) is bad. The whole thing is hard. I just try not to think that way anymore. Who was the doc who found the diagnosis? The same one you've been going to or a new doc?

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I'm sorry. :(




Are you still going to the same optometrist? Maybe you can find someone that is more aggressive about his treatment? It won't be too late if it doesn't get corrected by the age of 8-10. The treatment will just require more effort as age progresses. So that's good news, right? :)


Have you taken him to a developmental optometrist? I've read that Vision Therapy is a good treatment for amblyopia (along with other things -- eye drops, eye patches, et c.).

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:iagree: This is what I wanted to say... just couldn't find a good way to say it. Thank you OhElizabeth! :)

Yep, you did your best. You didn't fail your child, you tried it didn't work, as much of life doesn't. All you can do is move forward now.


I with 3rd, or is 4th, 5th? Getting into a developmental ophthalmologist. It is a rather new and unproven field (scientifically), but it is getting good results practically. These are treatments they are using with adults who have eye damage. Hope is not gone yet. It just isn't going to be an easy road.



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It's probably not too late. I have a 14-year-old son working on vision therapy now. He is what the optometrist called an "alternate suppressor". His brain suppresses the image from one eye for several minutes, then switches to the other eye for awhile, then back and forth like that all day long. He has good vision in both eyes, but for some reason his brain doesn't want to use them together. If my son tries to focus (especially close up) with both eyes, he sees double. This was his "normal" for so long, he didn't realize it was a problem. We have been doing vision therapy for 3 months now, and he is making progress.


One of my daughters did vision therapy and patching for lazy eye. She was 4 years old when she was diagnosed. After about a year, her vision in her weak eye was 20/40. We couldn't get it any better, but I was thrilled because she had started at 20/200+!! That daughter is now 10, and her vision in her "lazy" eye is 20/20. It just kept improving over the years. Her optometrist says she no longer qualifies for the amblyopia label.


We go to optometrists on the COVD list. They have been excellent. Vision therapy has been well worth the time, effort, and money for us.


There is a book entitled "Fixing My Gaze" written by a woman who did vision therapy as an adult, and it changed her life. Very encouraging.


Our brains can adapt remarkably, even when we're older. Keep fighting for your child! You're doing a great job for him!




homeschooling 4 (ages 14, 12, 10, and 7)

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Thanks all for your support and encouragement. I think I was a tad overtired last night and was falling off the deep end!


I've been working to find a place that does vision therapy. It's harder to find in Canada than the US, and even harder in smaller cities. I found one in the larger city we'll be travelling to in order to see the opthamologist (the waiting list was really long where I live, so I opted to travel) and thought I'd combine the appointments on our trip to explore if vision therapy was an option.


Well. Some amazing news. I mentioned in passing to the distance learning school that we're registered with that I was doing taking some time off from schooling to travel for our eye appointments, and also that will soon be beginning testing for our son for Aspergers, although the waiting list for testing is nearly a year. They replied saying the have a vision therapist hired and available that we can use at no cost, and they will arrange and pay for a psych-ed assessment for ds and work in conjunction with our doctor so that he have his needs met in a more timely manner. Wow!


Lisa, thanks for the book recommendation... I'm going to read it. I'm an alternate surpressor myself :)


Mango, we won't be going to the same optometrist for very much longer, which is awkward in itself as he's my former employer and our kids play together. My youngest ds, who's nearly 2, I believe is developing a bit of an eye turn now, so I won't take the chance of it not being dealt with aggressively enough. At our last appointment he noticed that there is a bit of a refractive difference between his eyes, and I questioned then if we shouldn't be referred immediately, and now I think it's actually turning in a bit. I've learned my lesson... and we'll be spending a lot of time with eye care professionals in the next little while!

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Get thee to an opthamologist and a vision specialist. The optomotrists are not good at the unusual. You still have time. Go for it!



The whole age 7 cutoff thing is considered by many, including one of the original doctors who came up with the theory, to be incorrect. That said, you don't want to wait longer than necessary as the brain learns faster the younger it is. So don't waste time beating yourself up, just kick it into high gear and get lots of different opinions now so you can choose the best course of action going forward. Be sure a board certified vision therapist is one of those opinions, they are doing amazing things in that field.

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Our 4-year-old has the same problem, almost exactly. We caught it on what we thought was a "routine" eye exam shortly after his 3rd birthday. He hadn't been able to see anything clearly for his whole life. The best thing that DH's optometrist did was refer DS to a pediatric ophthalmologist. They've gotten him to 20/40 with the glasses so far. So.... definitely take him to a specialist.

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please know that many of us feel the pain in your words and have been there ourselves.


our son just finished vision therapy after a year and he gained about 3 1/2

grades! he is in 8th grade! we waited "too long too" but after trying many things. we thought

vision therapy was not proven too but i guess now that mayo clinic did a study to confirm this treatment NOW it will give many the confidence to try it! it has been around a long time.


i can not tell you the difference in my sons whole being. he was diagnosised as adhd inattentive type. i just didnt see that but i did see my son has having horrible auditory and visual processing problems!


here is a link to check out. it is where we took our son. i can not rec.

it highly enough but it is costly. they do have a treatment at home option but i do not know if that would work with your sons diagnosis.

PLEASE give dr mowbray a call. we got a free evaluation and she may be able to refer you to someone in your area!?






will pray for you and your family


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Never say never. Do your research. Find groups with children that have amblopia. They may have up to date information on procedures that are currently being used.

My brother had this. I'm not sure at what age it was completely corrected. But he doesn't need glasses as an adult now.


Technology keeps advancing and so much is being offered these days that there may be a procedure out there that is worth pursuing.


I know with my youngest who was born with a whole host of health problems that I am constantly looking into what is available. I always feel that its never to late for something.


Also if your mommy gut is telling you something isn't right about his care chances is you are 100% correct and you need to seek another opinion. Even if its a 2nd , 3rd, or 4th opinion. Find out where the best doctors are and go from there.

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