Last week Ben had his semi-annual opthomology exam at our favorite tertiary care center. Six months ago he was diagnosed with strabismus, but at the time he was using both eyes equally. Since then, Ben has started to grasp toys with his good (left) hand, and things have changed. We’ve noticed that he had a tendency to hold toys really close to his left eye to see them better.
It turns out that he has now developed a preference for using the left eye, and is starting to ignore his right. This could potentially cause long-term problems with the development of binocular vision, since eventually his brain may eventually learn to disregard images from his right eye altogether.
So our friendly opthomologist has advised us to patch his preferred left eye for an hour each day to force him to keep using the right eye.
Today was the first day we tried it. Ben didn’t like it at all. He cried for a good 10 minutes and scrubbed at the patch in a vain attempt to remove it. He wouldn’t open the right eye at all for a long time. Jonny was upset at us too for torturing Ben, and demanded we take off the patch. Finally, I set Ben in his Exersaucer with some of his favorite toys, and he settled down after a few minutes. He then played with his toys quietly for about 45 minutes.
I suppose he’ll eventually get used to having the eye patch, and I hope this works. If it doesn’t, we may need to consider surgery, but we’d like to avoid that if at all possible.