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Cross Eyed - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
Cross Eyed

A while ago I kept thinking that Sam was a little cross-eyed. His right eye seems to turn in intermittently. But I thought maybe I was being a little paranoid and projecting my own issues on to my children. I have strabismus and amblyopia, you see, so it could just be in my imagination. My mother has it, too. Besides, while strabismus affects males and females equally, the bias in me always figured that IF any of my children developed strabismus, it would be one of my girls.

Then, a week and a half ago, we had the Early Intervention team out to assess the triplets (more on that in a subsequent post in my copious spare time) and one of the first things that one of the therapists noticed was that Sam's eye turns in. Go figure. I took a look through some pictures of him (see above), and lo and behold! he really DOES have an eye that turns in.

I called an optometrist friend of mine and asked if this is something that I should deal with now or later and she said absolutely nothing but bad things could come from waiting. She said I could either see an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. Her recommendation was to see a developmental optometrist, and while I see her point, I'm hesitant about that based on my OWN experience. So I called my pediatrician today and asked who they recommend I see. They, not shockingly, recommended I see a pediatric ophthalmologist who specializes in strabismus. I'm leaning toward consulting with both and going from there, to be honest.

Therefore, I've at least made an appointment with the ophthalmologist for next Thursday afternoon. I've been warned that if he sees signs of strabismus in Sam, he'll want to see the girls, too. Yippee!


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marag From: marag Date: May 27th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh! What fun! No really!

::coughs:: Okay, maybe not. But hooray for catching things early and dealing with them.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah, it isn't the end of the world; I've certainly dealt with it all my life, and better to catch it now than later, because if we can correct it now, we might be able to prevent him from a lifetime of seeing double like me.

Poor kiddo.
kmelion From: kmelion Date: May 27th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's such a cutie!

I gather you're not making your assessment merely from the photos. Someone else on my FList who posts photos of her 4 year old is constantly explaining that for some reason (maybe due to the flash), her daughter's photos tend to come out with her looking cross-eyed.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, I'm making the assessment based on visual examination, and using the photo as evidence. Originally, I'd dismissed the photos as just thinking, "oh, that's an optical illusion... there must be something about the way the photos are being taken that makes him look cross-eyed in them..." But between the fact that I noticed it in person and the early intervention therapists noticed it, and it's evident in photos, in addition to the strong family history (strabismus can be hereditary even though it often pops up with no family history), it all points to the likelihood that there's a need to investigate.
introducingyael From: introducingyael Date: May 27th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
That should be the greatest of his problems.
I think it makes him (if possible) cuter.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
It may make him cuter, but it can lead to visual acuity problems down the road. I, for one, see double, in part because we weren't able to correct the alignment early enough. I would prefer that my children not see double into adulthood.
debsters1101 From: debsters1101 Date: May 27th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
i could have sworn that crossed eyes is a normal thing in infants...
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is not uncommon for newborns to be cross eyed, particularly premature newborns. Ellie was very cross-eyed in the NICU. It is abnormal, however, for an eye to become misaligned after 6 months.
ichur72 From: ichur72 Date: May 27th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good luck on this.

BTW, CJ was fascinated by Sam's picture and has been pointing to it and saying "little boy baby!"
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not a huge, huge deal, but it needs to be addressed sooner than later, so better to get on it now.

SO cute! I love it when kids get fixated on pictures like that! :)
gimmelgirl From: gimmelgirl Date: May 27th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oy! I wish you and him (and the others) all the best with it.

You are such a ... fighter isn't the right word, but that's what I'm thinking right now. I don't say much, but I admire all the work and love you put in despite the challenges of your four beautiful children! I can't imagine! I wish for you only blessings. And perhaps a good night's sleep every once in a while?
They are so beautiful; thank you for sharing them with us.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
we're lucky that we haven't had any hugely devastating diagnoses to deal with. The worst of it was when Ellie was failure to thrive, but even that was manageable. I've seen so many people fight so hard after their babies were born so much more premature than ours were... I find I have no cause for complaint. We are so very, very lucky. I thank G-d every day for the blessings in my life, because I KNOW how lucky I am. I really do.
gnomi From: gnomi Date: May 27th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Best of luck with Sam's eyes (and with the others', if need be).

I hadn't realized that you have strabismus and amblyopia. I have it very slightly in my left eye. It's most pronounced when I'm overtired or overstressed (which is why it manifested with a vengeance my 11th grade year).

estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had four eye surgeries to correct the strabismus, so you can't really tell just from looking at me. The amblyopia is becoming a problem again because I never learned to fuse the two images that I see due to the strabismus... I ignore the second image, so my left eye has become lazy and now it just doesn't work all that well. Sigh. It's always something, right?
leahmiriam From: leahmiriam Date: May 27th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
We went to Children's Hospital (Rockville office) to rule out any potential problems..and it was hard for the doc to see the drag in our kiddo's eye..now we go every six months just to see if there is a change. In Sam, it's obvious...but man oh man, is he cute!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
We're going to this doc: www.docplot.com
galads_forest From: galads_forest Date: May 27th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been there. Chana's was fixed last January but is still not 100%. We didn't catch it until she was 18m and it took us 6m to get an appointment, one year in glasses and 4m to wait for surgery. Needless to say, I wish it was dealt with a lot faster. Now it's getting her to keep the glasses on and not play with them that's a problem.

I've been watching the baby like a hawk now, especially now that he's over 9m. They make me bring him for every appt. with her to keep an eye on him also, so I hear you with the bringing all 3 kids (though mine aren't 3 or all babies). Haven't noticed anything with those big browns yet, thank G-d.

Good luck!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had four eye surgeries from age 6 to 19. So I'm there with you. Sometimes surgery isn't required, but my guess is we won't entirely avoid it with one or all of our kids, given such a strong family history (my mother also had four, maybe five, eye surgeries). I'm hoping with Sam we're catching it early enough that he won't see double all his life like I do.
suburban_mom From: suburban_mom Date: May 27th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
let's hear it for picking things up early! YAY. Even though the consequences of leaving it aren't life threatening, they are serious enough [as you've pointed out] that the earlier they can intervene, the better. Good on you for taking action on this and, in my not so humble opinion, two consults are better than one. After all, if they both agree then it's simply a matter of chosing who to take him to.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
The two specialist won't have the same approach. The developmental optometrist will approach it with exercises and things like feeding him from the other side and such. The ophthalmologist will approach it with things like patching, glasses and possibly surgery (all things that I had, as I was followed by ophthalmologists, not optometrists). Both are valid (and proven) approaches, but different. I'm more familiar with the MD approach, but there's something to be said for the developmental approach. There's also some concern with putting a child in glasses TOO early, which is a risk you run with the ophthalmologic approach.
journeytoernie From: journeytoernie Date: May 27th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
asher had signs of strabismis i believe. but ended up not having it.

the opthamologist exams are hellaciously long and painful. like 2 hours. i hope down your way they know what HUSTLE means...
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 27th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
the nurse practitioner at my peds office told me to expect 1.5-2 hours.
cellio From: cellio Date: May 28th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I was born with that and had surgery. (I'm told; it's not like I would remember.) My eyes don't really work together (if you watch me, you'll sometimes see the right eye wander off and do its own thing), but they manage to do something useful (that's more useful than what I see if I close the right eye), and I don't see double unless I try to (can do it at will) or I'm really, really tired.

I of course have no idea what would have happened if I hadn't had the surgery.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 28th, 2008 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I had four eye surgeries. My eyes don't work together either; my left eye is far weaker than my right eye. I do see double all the time, but if they'd been able to correct it earlier, I probably wouldn't.
hopeness From: hopeness Date: May 28th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
As someone who had bilateral strabismus that wasn't taken care of until was four I'm glad that Sam will be looked at.

I think I would've had much better vision if I had it corrected earlier - I didn't have surgery until I was seven.

One of the more freaky things about me is that I can't be easily made to see double - my brain spent too much time correcting my double vision. And I can't do "magic eye" pictures for the same reason. I have crap depth perception, too.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 28th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I had four strabismus surgeries, when I was 6, 12, 17, and 19. I still see double. My hope is correcting it sooner with Sam will save him from that.

I have never been able to see those magic eye pictures and I have no depth perception either. Bleh.
From: proudestmom Date: May 28th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
good luck! and good for you for being a responsible mother!
hannahsarah From: hannahsarah Date: May 28th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you're catching this early.

Rivka has this fairly severely, and her biological father does too. He had to wear an eyepatch for 3 years, and still has problems when he's sick or tired.

Rivka is great about wearing her glasses, but refuses to wear the eye patch, no matter what I do. The doctor wants her to wear the stick on type, and the adhesive makes her skin itch. (She can't wear bandaids, either) I've tried taping over one side of her glasses, but then she just pulls them down and looks over the top of the frames, straining both eyes. She's going to be 5 in a few weeks, and I really hope it's not too late for her.
hipstamom From: hipstamom Date: May 28th, 2008 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)
DH has strabismus too and he only gets cock-eyed when he's exhausted but other wise his eyes are good!
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