As with every other milestone, this one too came loaded with a lot of baggage. Turns out that it is quite a common phenomenon in the populace, or so the pediatrician says. Whatever reasons I may pile up in favour of why it is not such a big deal, the truth is, that my three-year-old has glasses. And for those who notice with acute precision, which is almost everybody, it is quite on the thicker side.
It is not so much the addition of the glasses to her daily routine, but the rather herculean effort of explaining to everyone that TV/Laptop time had nothing to do with it that really bothers me quite a bit. As if I was looking for more reasons for not being the'perfect' mother! But people always seem obliged to fill up the list eagerly.
But the little one doesn't seem to be complaining. She seems to have adapted to the glasses as easily as she did with hours away from me when I began to work, as smoothly as taking the inhaler for her asthma, as promptly as she settled with formula milk.
But those pitiful glances and the all-knowing comments we must tolerate!! Especially when I believe that:
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Sarcasm aside, it is important for us mothers to notice if the child is straining to see and having difficulty in looking at objects directly. I began noticing a difference when she would squint to look at certain nearby objects. For a few days, I dismissed it as imitation. Then I began to notice it to happen more frequently and I figured that this was something more.
Turns out that most children this age have some kind of spectacle power but 8 out of 10 are able to handle it without any outward manifestation such as squinting. In some cases however, such an accommodation results in a visible squint. When it came to my daughter, glasses did the trick and she no longer needs to strain anymore with the pair on.
She suffers from a condition called refractive accommodative esotropia, which is essentially squinting caused due to her eyes trying to accommodate the eye power. We consulted a pediatric ophthalmologist for the diagnosis and treatment. Since children this young cannot read from the standard light box that all of us are asked to when checking vision, their pupils are dilated using drops/lotion over a period of many hours. Once their pupils are completely dilated, the doctor is able to look at the eye and determine the eye's power. Since she has a positive power, it will reduce with age, unlike negative power which apparently doesn’t reduce with age, like mine! No wonder my glasses never really came off. Tell that to all those who try to feed their kids carrots like new-age-bugs-bunnies to improve their eyesight.
The only solution for her condition is to wear the glasses and wait for the eyeball to grow bigger in size, which will happen gradually, as the years progress. While that happens, she is learning a lesson or two in taking care of her glasses, keeping them clean and remembering to wear them all the time.
It is unsettling sometimes to note how everyone has an opinion to offer for everything under the sun even if it is a medical condition that they know nothing about. But unfortunately such is life, and we have to bear with it.
It has been a good four months since the glasses and I think we make quite the pair, the bespectacled mother-daughter duo! So cheerios to all!!
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