Quick PSA about an issue we ran into with my daughter, Autumn, and her vision.
When she was born, until about 8 months old she had a clogged tear duct. This means there was pooling of tears in her left eye, and an excessive amount of ‘gunk’ in her eye. Especially when using our fingers to unclog the duct. Our pediatrician sent us to a pediatric ophthalmologist because we had to consider surgery for the tear duct. The ophthalmologist gave us some tools to try to unclog the duct on our own, like massage and hot compresses and had us come back in a few months to assess the progress.
During the second visit, the pediatric ophthalmologist gave Autumn an eye exam. He discovered that her left eye (where she had the tear duct clog) was having a more difficult time focusing than the right eye. At that point the tear duct clog had went away naturally, however the Dr. had us schedule an appointment for 6 months out to test her vision again.
6 months go by, and my husband and I think that our daughter is seeing fine. She points to things and identifies them, walks around, and seems perfectly content. Our appointment day comes up, and I consider canceling the appointment because I was under the impression my daughter’s vision was fine! After the second eye exam I learned that her left eye was twice as bad as it was 6 months ago, and we are given a prescription for glasses.
My pediatrician only suggested I see an eye specialist for the clogged tear duct, not for any vision problems (not knocking my ped he’s great and we love him.) The problem with infants/toddlers is that they don’t know any better of what they should or should not see, and they can’t tell you they are having issues.
Now looking back there were possibly a few red flags that you can look out for with your own little one. These ‘red flags’ are also just part of being a kiddo, so it’s hard to know for sure what the cause is.
- Late walking
- Unbalanced and slow walking. Tripping on raised door frames, ledges, etc.
- Only interested in books with large pictures
- Touching/patting her head often (I imagine she was having headaches from the strain on her eye.)
I want all my friends to be aware that your child can possibly have vision problems and you may not be aware of it! I HIGHLY suggest to go to get your child’s eyes checked, this can also prevent the brain ‘forgetting’ the eye with difficulty causing a lazy eye in the future.