Like all moms, I tried to do my best and follow all the suggested timelines for my kids regarding health screenings. We go to all recommended well visits, dental visits, etc., but there was one visit that slipped through the cracks, an eye exam. Even being a second time Mom, I did not receive a recommendation to see an optometrist for either of my kids during toddlerhood. As a glasses/contacts wearer, I knew eye exams were important and I knew that vision was genetic, so going to get an eye exam for my kids was a no brainer. I had taken my oldest daughter to her first appointment at 5 and planned a similar approach with my youngest. Well, our plans were a bit derailed.
My toddler was squinting.
Last Summer my husband and I noticed our two year old sometimes squinted when she pointed at something that was far away. We weren’t sure if it was out of necessity or just a quirk, but as someone who wore glasses since age seven, I definitely took notice. As a busy Mom, I somehow put off making an appointment for a few months after running into a long wait to get an appointment with our preferred Pediatric Ophthalmologist. In fact, it was nearly Halloween when I finally made the appointment after her teacher told me she noticed the squinting and that my daughter was sometimes ignoring the board while she was teaching. At that point, I didn’t want to wait any longer, and because the Ophthalmologist was still booked for two months, we made an appointment with an Optometrist to see what was going on with her eyes.
To my surprise, my little three-year-old had astigmatism and slight vision lost. As we went through the appointment, I was amazed by the technology used to diagnose her needs. They had her look into this cool “viewfinder” type device that took a picture of her eyes and diagnosed her astigmatism. Then we moved to the examination chair where the doctor used a series of pictures to determine her vision needs. I was impressed with the technology and the patience of the doctor who helped with my cranky toddler who had missed a nap. After the exam, she explained that her astigmatism means that her corneas are not perfectly round but slightly oval which causes the squinting. Her brain automatically knows how to adjust her eyes to help her to see better. Her vision loss is at the level of reading glasses but she explained that because of her immediate change in confidence once she was able to see clearly it would be wise to get her into a pair of glasses.
We went out to the lobby and I let her pick out the glasses that she loved. We agreed on an adorable pair of hot pink glasses that made her smile! Her teachers and our family were awesome about making a big deal about her cool pink glasses to ensure that her confidence was not lost. My only regret is not getting the scratch-resistant lenses!