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Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Lazy Eye

Taken when she wore her
spectacles for the first time

Perhaps because both my husband and I started wearing glasses since P3 and P2 respectively and have endured the various inconveniences of needing eyewear for the most part of our lives, I wanted to give my children a fighting chance at having perfect eyesight. 

I have reduced screen time to nearly zero, installed sufficient lightings around the house, taught the children the importance of looking after their eyesight, told them my own cautionary tale and made sure they develop good reading and writing habits with plenty of outdoor activities. The environmental factors were almost completely eliminated. 

However, I could not fight the hereditary factor: Jayna has amblyiopia, commonly known as lazy eye. My brother has that condition and that's where the gene came from. It has never been noticed because she had all along been relying on the perfect vision of the right eye and thus the left one had been left unused and untreated. By the time it was detected, she was already 5 years old, a little too old to completely cure it.

Still, I harboured hope that it might actually improve over time. I was also terribly disappointed with the need for her to wear glasses despite all my efforts and I have been in a state of denial over this issue. That is why I've not blogged about it till now, when the reality of her wearing spectacles for life has finally sunk in. 

I had been very diligent in making her wear her spectacles at all times and putting the eye patch on her right eye for 3 hours each day faithfully to stimulate the usage of the lazy eye. Yet, after 4 months, there was no improvement. Patching for 3 hours a day became 4 hours. Initially I made her wear the patch only when at home to reduce the chances of her esteem taking a hit due to insensitive remarks from others but I decided to let her patch her eye during school hours when the lazy eye is forced to do more near-work. To prevent her classmates from teasing her, I drew pictures on it so that the focus will be on the drawings instead. Thankfully, there was some improvement but the doctor did say that the lazy eye will likely remain far-sighted. 

Recently, my eldest has developed myopia and needs glasses to read the words on the projector screen in school. I threw my hands up in utter defeat. I did notice that he started developing the bad habit of reading books while lying down ever since he entered primary school and I warned him countless times that it would spoil his eyesight. I guess there is only so much a parent can do to safeguard her child. Makes me wonder if my younger two will eventually need glasses too. Then we'll indeed become a "four-eyed" family... *facepalm*

She loves asking me to draw
the different ponies from MLP...

... and Hello Kitty in different costumes and poses

I did some in keeping with the festive moods...

... and even one to go along with her
Show and Tell about skeletons.

Yet other 'hungry' times, she
asked for pictures of food! LOL

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