I hear it all the time, and I can totally understand you. I have a 13 month old and she can pick up tiniest of airplanes way out in the sky. She picks up littlest pieces of sand that I even have a hard time seeing. As an optometrist, I have already examined her eyes, because I didn’t know if she had two good eyes.
Now this is a true story that could very much be yours:
A few years back, my nephew was three years old and had never had an eye exam. Sure enough the parents were convinced his vision was fine. Both eyes were straight and he wasn’t bumping into anything. My sister (who is also an OD) eventually saw him for his first eye exam. Shocking news, he had one good eye that could see 20/20, but the other eye needed a +9.00 lens.
This eye needed a lens almost as strong as a magnifying glass for the image to properly focus on the retina! Since birth, this eye had never received a proper image, a proper stimulus. What happens when an eye doesn’t send a proper signal to the brain, is that the brain (area dedicated to that eye) never learns how to treat visual information.
So imagine this, we finally give the little guy glasses. He’s got one eye that sees 100%. The other eye is starting vision development as if it was a “newborn eye”, because it is finally getting a clear signal.
It is a hard concept to grasp, but lets put it this way; the highway for information to the brain on the good eye is a 10 lane express way like they have in T.O. The bad eye is a clogged Turcot interchange. Even though there’s high debit that wants to go through, there is no infrastructure to support it.
Often times, people call this condition a lazy eye, but the correct term is amblyopia. If caught early, it can be treated by using the right set of glasses and patching the good eye. The patch is usually worn about 2h per day on the good eye to stimulate the amblyope eye.
This sort of treatment only works until the age of 7-8 because the brain is still “plastic”. After this critical period, the eye will remain weak forever.
Here is a representation of a normal eye (left) and an amblyope eye (right). Once the brain processes both images, a child only perceives the left image because the brain suppresses the blurred one!
It’s back to school week:
We are having a back to school week at Opsis Optométrie starting August 21st. There will be a kids only day on the 25th of August. Fourteen exam slots are available only for children under 18. Book your appointment now by clicking here.
To encourage parents to bring their kids for eye exams we will draw two $50 gift cards for Renaud Bray among all patients under 18 examined that week.