He’s Definitely My Son

So Tuesday was a very traumatic day for Ben.  He had to get eye drops! Yes, I said that right, eye drops.  Poor kid!

As you know Benjamin has worn glasses for about 2 1/2 years now. I don’t recognize him when he doesn’t have them on.  They are just a part of him now. And he is so adorable with them.

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Well he wears them because at his 4 year check-up we discovered that he had some eye issues.  His right eye has a cataract and poor vision.  It’s not terrible but because of his cataract he used his left eye a lot and his right eye never strengthened.  We tried patching for a year and that didn’t work.  So we figured that the boy would just wear glasses going forward.  After his last eye appointment his doctor suggested that we meet with a top doc in Philly to confirm that the cataract is “normal”.

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On Tuesday Ben, Owen and I drove down to Philly while Sean was in school. I knew that it was going to be a long day so I packed accordingly.  Teaching hospitals / doctors offices never move quickly.  We learned this from his yearly visits to the NYU Skin Cancer clinic.  A 20 minute appointment usually takes several hours because of all the doctors that pop in to check him out.

And because it always happens this way…. the kid with the most medical issues is the one with the most fear/phobias/anxiety.  The poor kid is definitely my son. I hate all things medical and I have had multiple skin cancers removed, three c-sections, etc.  I tend to have panic/anxiety attacks whenever I am faced with anything medical — even if it’s just something minor.  So of course Benjamin is that kid in our family.

The first thing that he asked the doctor was if he would need eye drops? The doctor said maybe {which we all know means yes} and it all went downhill from there.   The first doctor did the eye exam, then the second one did his.  Now it was time for the drops.  Three doctors and one mom {me} had to hold the kid down to get those drops in.  But we got them in after a ton of hysterical crying and kicking and screaming.  Once they were in we had to wait for his eyes to dilate.  A half hour later we were back in the room to visit with another doctor.  This is when he got upset all over again.  The drops had worked and now his eyes were all blurry.  He kept crying to me that he was going blind and he couldn’t see.  I felt so bad for the boy.  It’s hard to explain that they will wear off in a bit and he can go back to reading his Lego Chima book.

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The poor kid was so tired from the long ride, appointment and screaming.  He fell asleep for a few minutes while waiting for the final doctor to come in and visit with him.

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  Finally after three hours (and 3 doctors) we met with the head doctor and he confirmed that his eyes are great.  The right one does have a cataract but he was born with it and it hasn’t changed at all. His eye sight is not getting any worse.  The risk of any surgery to remove it would not be worth the reward.  Meaning it wouldn’t change his vision much {if at all}. So he said that he would NEVER put the boy through the surgery and a few weeks worth of daily drops just to see if it helps his vision.  THANK GOD! I would not want to wheel Ben into eye surgery EVER.  So despite the drama of the 3 hour visit and drive to/from Philly it turned out to be great news.

PS — give me NYC traffic anyday over Philly!!!!



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Children’s Eye Exams: Learn When to Take Your Child to the Eye Doctor

So it’s been close to a year now that we discovered that Ben, my now 5 year old, had some issues with his eyes. As you are aware he now wears glasses (and looks so cute in them). But we did have several other issues we discovered. He had lazy eye as well as a small cataract.  Thank goodness that we did discover these issues fairly early but I really wished that we knew to take him to an eye doctor much earlier in his life. 

I wanted to share with you a post written by Lens Crafters on when you really need to schedule your child’s first eye exam! We have to remember to take care of our babies eyes! Thanks for letting me share this important information with you guys!


Children’s Eye Exams

If you have a child, you know that monitoring their eye health is an extremely important task. From 
infancy until the teenage years, it’s important to ensure they’re getting comprehensive eye exams 
regularly so you know their eyes are healthy and they’re seeing as well as they can. Read below for 
some guidelines to follow when you’re figuring out when to bring your child in for an eye exam.
A child’s first eye exam
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that infants should have their first eye exam
at the age of six months to ensure their eyes are developing normally. At that age, babies should have 
the same focusing ability, color recognition and depth perception as adults. Some of the tests an eye 
doctor will typically perform during this first eye exam include:
  • Pupil response: Using a penlight, the eye doctor will shine a light in the child’s eyes, then remove it to gauge whether or not the pupil opens and closes as it should.
  • Eyelid and eyeball exam: Also using a penlight, the eye doctor will examine the eyeballs and eyelids to determine such things as whether or not the pupils are the same size, if the lids are drooping and if there are any signs of infection or disease.
  • Movement test: This test measures how well your baby can follow an object as the eye doctor moves it around. The doctor will pay particular attention to whether or not both eyes respond the same way. 

Pre-school eye exams
As long as your infant’s eye exam resulted in no significant issues, a good time to schedule the next 
exam is before they enter pre-school. In addition to common vision problems like nearsightedness, 
farsightedness and astigmatism, other issues prevalent at this age and should be tested for include:
  • Amblyopia: Also known as “lazy eye,” amblyopia is decreased vision in one or both eyes. This happens when the nerve pathway from one eye to the brain does not develop during childhood. Some common symptoms are one eye turning in or out, the eyes not working together, and decreased depth perception. To treat the issue, a patch is placed over the unaffected eye to strengthen the weaker eye. In some cases, eyeglasses may also be necessary.
  • Strabismus: This vision problem is a misalignment of the eyes and is characterized by the eyes crossing, only one moving, or the eyes appearing very different in the way they move. It can be caused by amblyopia and is often due to a problem with muscle control in one or both eyes. If the underlying cause isn’t amblyopia and using an eye patch does not correct the problem, eyeglasses, vision therapy and sometimes surgery are necessary depending on the underlying cause.

During this eye exam your child will also have his or her focusing ability, color vision and depth

perception checked to ensure they have all developed properly. The pre-school eye exam is crucial, as 
detecting problems early is the best way to set your child up for success as they start school and need 
clear vision to see and what’s on the board. 
Eye exams throughout childhood
As your son or daughter progress through childhood and into their teens, they should continue seeing 
an eye doctor regularly for comprehensive eye exams. If their vision is normal, they should get an eye 
exam every two years. If they’ve been prescribed eyeglasses or have other vision problems however, an 
exam should be scheduled every 12 months.
Identifying vision problems as early in life as possible is important because children are typically more 
responsive to treatment and it’s easier to correct problems before the eyes are fully developed. Help 
ensure a lifetime of good eye health by starting with infant eye exams and staying consistent with eye 
doctor visits throughout the years. 
Post is sponsored by LensCrafters.


Thank you LensCrafters for this important information!
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