Friday, November 23, 2012

Eye Exams

First, I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving... a day late.  We spent the majority of the day with my in-laws and had a good time!  One of our short conversations prompted me to think of something that I should blog about, since I get asked a couple questions a lot:

How did you know Judith's far-sighted?
This is a simpler answer.  We didn't know, but the pediatric ophthalmologist was able to detect it pretty quickly.

What prompted you to have her eyes examined?
We caught it during one of her ROP follow-ups, and continued to monitor it fairly regularly to see how it progressed.  If we didn't have the follow-ups, I would've scheduled an appointment shortly after I saw how many problems she was having during speech therapy to rule out any complications that could've developed from the ROP.

How do they examine a toddler?
This is the really interesting part!  I was pretty darn curious about the process myself, since the only thing I could really visualize was a typical exam that a child or adult would go through.

The first thing her ophtho did was look in her eyes with a light.  She attaches an animal to it to attract the baby's attention (ours have typically been a fish that looks like a bath squirt toy).  Once she checks things out with the light and with tracking, she dilates the eyes.  After dilation is complete, she takes another tool and looks inside the eye, then will hold up the various lenses to see what corrects the problem (instead of using the giant mask and telling the examiner "1" or "2" etc.).  Since she has so much experience, she's pretty slick at guessing what should help correct the problem.  It can take some experimentation, just like with adults and older children, but she does get the therapeutic prescription.

I know that's not the most scientific of explanations, but hopefully it helps you to visualize the process.

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