Looking after eyes, was not a high priority when the boy was small. We had plenty of other concerns about the fact he was a reflux baby and constantly suffered from constipation. He had all the usual health checks, and all seemed fine. It wasn’t until he was nearly three that we noticed something wasn’t quite right. It started with him crossing his eyes at the dinner table, or towards the end of the day. We thought at first that he was playing about, a new trick he’d learned, it went on for too long so we took him to the doctors.
The doctor didn’t seem concerned, and referred him. At this point we had to wait three months for a referral. Hindsight is a powerful thing and had I known I could have taken him to any optician free of charge for a test, I would have done just that. The optician could have referred us straight away, but as I say we didn’t know. Our appointment arrived, and the boy had to have drops, this was a little traumatic, and he was not happy about it, but the tests were over quickly and we were called into a room for the results. Still not thinking much of the whole situation, I was somewhat unprepared for what happened next.
We were told the boys eyesight was very poor. This was a shock in itself, not understanding that a child who can easily spot ladybirds in books, planes in the sky, and was just like any boy his age. To be told, he had never seen properly, and may not have good vision for the rest of his life is a bigger shock. I couldn’t cope with the information, and broke down. As a parent it is so easy to feel like you have failed. Being his mum, I somehow thought I should have known.
Looking back now its easier to understand how small children easily cope with poor vision. The boy knew no different, he was able to focus for short periods of time, and when his eyes got tired this was when he would cross his eyes, and squint. It made us understand how he had no problems with food, he couldn’t see it. It also made us realise why he hated slides in the park, he couldn’t see the bottom. Talking to family we discovered there were others in the family with eye problems, and squints. It seemed like there might be something in the boys genes that means that he has a squint. I even found old family pictures going back to my great grandparents where you can see the kids squinting in the photos.
After the initial shock, for us, and the rest of the family, appointments were made, and regular hospital visits were booked. The first one was far more reassuring, and after speaking to the Ophthalmic team I was much more able to understand what was happening. We did our research talked to friends and opted for an independent optician rather than the one recommended by the hospital. With a team we trusted in place, and three weekly visits to the hospital, the long road began. One where there would be highs and lows, one that even as we speak is still on-going.
Talking to the Acuvue team at BritMums this year, it was great to hear how I was not alone as a parent in my fustratrations of vision correction for the boy. It was also interesting to hear about contact lenses as an option. Something I had briefly thought about and which are available for children as young as five. The boy can sometimes struggle with his glasses during sport, and as Fencing is very sweaty, I can see that contact lenses would be a great option. Freeing him up from all the issues of not only uncomfortable, bent and sometimes broken glasses.
I wrote this review while participating in an influencer campaign on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”