Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Eyetests for early years piglets

From Iederene's blog
I have sadly realised that I ought to have taken Piglet for an early eyetest. I thought that she would have her eyes tested at school, or that if there were a problem teachers would pick up on it. Now I realise I just should have taken her along to the optician like I take her to the dentist. After all, it's free for children. 

Recently Piglet complained she couldn't see properly and asked to be taken to the optician. I'm afraid my immediate thought was: 'Who in the class has got trendy new glasses?' I have 20/20 vision and have only just - at the age of 50 - managed to get reading glasses, whereas the Fella has always had poor vision, so I suppose the idea that there might be minor eyesight problems which don't show up immediately didn't occur to us.

When I took Piglet to the optician, it emerged that she has amblyopia - sometimes called 'lazy eye' although people with the condition dislike this term. There are a number of conditions collected under this label including squints, most of them more obvious than Piglet's problem. Piglet's eye muscles are simply not working as effectively when she looks at a distance. Last year in school she was at the front of the class; this year she is sitting at the back and can't read what's on the whiteboard. Unusually, Piglet has it in both eyes, not just one.

M'eye patch sell reusable patches.
The optician said that wearing glasses will not help and that we have discovered the problem too late to make her wear those patches which force eyes and brain to develop stronger muscular skills. From initial reading around on the internet, it looks like you can have surgery for a squint but not to correct problematic long sight. I did find news items about the video game Tetris being helpful if you have one eye with amblyopia, so maybe we will have to force Piglet to do online gaming for hours every day (although she likes computer games she unfortunately prefers hands-on cookery).

It isn't a major problem, it won't stop Piglet being able to drive or anything when she gets older. Her teacher is sympathetic and arranging to move her to a better position in the class without taking her away from the table of other pupils where she has been doing well.

You can never be perfect as a parent. But I do wish I'd taken her for the early years eye tests.

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