Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

We were surprised to learn that Lucy needed glasses, but definitely not surprised to see how cute she looks in them.

p{color:gray}. Photo: Here’s Lucy in one of her new pairs of eyeglasses. Her other pair (which she prefers) appears below.

A couple months ago, we took Lucy for an early vision and hearing screening with her preschool. She passed most everything easily, but had some trouble with her right eye in the vision test. After checking with our doctor, we took Lucy in for an evaluation with a recommended ophthalmologist — and learned some interesting things.

Lucy is far-sighted in both eyes, but more so in her right eye. This imbalance has caused her brain to discount information from that eye, resulting in a condition called “amblyopia”: (commonly called “lazy eye”). Children with amblyopia will sometimes cross their eyes (though Lucy doesn’t), but often the problem will go undetected until the child has a vision screening much later (since the other eye typically compensates so well). Glasses can help retrain the blurry eye, but a patch may also be required to exercise it. Treatment works best when the problem is detected early. We’re grateful that this vision screening was required by “our preschool”: or Lucy would never have gone, since we have not noticed her experiencing any vision problems — and in fact, she regularly sees things, small, distant, or detailed, that we ourselves hadn’t noticed.

p{color:gray}. Photo: Getting home from the optician, Lucy couldn’t wait to snap a portrait in her new glasses to send to Papa at work.

Lucy has taken to her new glasses like a champ. I was worried that she might balk at wearing them all the time, but she has embraced her new look fully. To be honest, I really had to spend some time grieving over Lucy’s glasses. I wasn’t concerned about appearance (I knew she’d look great), but I felt like the need to wear glasses would be a heavy burden to place on so young a person. But Lucy has totally surpassed my expectations in maturity on this front.

What was the secret? Diamonds. After a long day of frame-shopping, we found a couple pairs embellished with sparkly “diamonds.” We really liked the service at this “specialty children’s eyewear store”: — where they had a great selection of frames, gave us useful tips on helping children care for glasses, and were really friendly with Lucy.

It’s hard to tell if she is seeing things more clearly, though she says she is. With amblyopia, one doesn’t experience that instantaneous, “I can see leaves on trees!” revelation that I often hear about. But she seems to feel pretty special and grown-up wearing glasses all day long, “just like Papa” (an observation she keeps making). And needless to say, we think she’s just adorable in them!

6 Replies to “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”

  1. Oh, that is too bad that she has to wear glasses (as someone who’s worn them since 4th grade) but she does look cute, and it’s great that she’s taken so well to them. Hopefully that’ll always be the case!

  2. My niece had the same problem, and both eyes became lazy, but wasn’t diagnosed until she was in elementary. As a result she often “forgets” her glasses or swears that she doesn’t need them when not in school. I’m glad Lucy was checked early. I need to get my kids in, although I know that Kaia has good vision right now, the girl can read the temperature on my rearview mirror from the very back of the suburban, and tell me what the fan is set to. I can barely see that from the front seat with my vision corrected.

  3. My dad, who is a retired ophthalmologist, often saw little patients with amblyopia. As I understand it, with proper treatment, everything can be resolved. It is great that you have gotten a diagnosis so early, and little Lucy should do fine. (What a great idea to get the “diamond” glasses!) Even if she did develop a muscle weakness and have some crossing (which it doesn’t sound like she will, given the corrective lenses) that is correctable with surgery. A little girl at our church had a crossed eye when she was little, and she had surgery. Now, at 18 years old, she wears contacts and one would never know!

  4. Lucy you look so glamorous! You’ve done a great job picking out two fabulous pairs of glasses. I will follow your example when picking out my new pair of glasses (hopefully soon)! Also, amblyopia, never heard of it. So glad that you posted about this because it hadn’t occurred to me to have Eli’s eyes checked. Do you know what age they suggest testing at? Is it 4 yrs or could it be earlier?

  5. Kelli, I think this was a test for 3 or 4 year olds. It was required for the preschool program to be certified by DCFS, so I’m guessing there is some standard for this. You could probably check with any local schools to ask about this kind of screening, or check with your pediatrician.

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