Monday, November 29, 2010

vision update

Today we saw the "famed" Dr. Cassidy.

Ever since we've been attending the Foundation for Blind Children's (FBC)infant program all we've heard about was how great Dr. Cassidy is and how he's done all these amazing things for all these children and for the foundation itself. So, naturally, I thought, "I HAVE to get my baby in to see this man!" And it was an easy decision to make seeing as how I wasn't real impressed with the eye dr. we'd been seeing anyway. Plus when I mentioned it to Dr. Wendy (our pediatrician) she almost peed her pants with excitement just at hearing his name...that was enough for me!

When I called to make the appointment, they were scheduling almost 6 weeks out! So, we've been looking forward to this appointment for a while now. I don't know what I was expecting, he was nice and all...I think all the hype got me over-excited to meet this man. I was under some impression that he looked like Santa Clause and that when he met my baby he'd scoop her up and kiss on her all the while talking about how beautiful she is and how all we have to do is _______ and her vision will be perfect. That didn't happen. He didn't even resemble Santa Clause a little bit. He wasn't even old.

What he did do was give us some hope.

Dr. Cassidy told us that Sadie does have some nearsightedness as well as astigmatism in both eyes (she gets that from her daddy and her grandpa, I think). He said she will need glasses down the road, but not yet. He wasn't concerned about her vision delaying her development severely at this point, but as she gets older it will be important for her to have those glasses. He also said that right now her prescription will probably change a lot between now and next time we see him, so there's no need to waste money on glasses right now. Once we see her prescription changes slowing down, then we'll talk. And that may be in the next 6-9 months. It's highly likely she'll have glasses by the time she's 2.

He also said she has some nerve damage in her left eye, but not really any to be too concerned about. When we brought up the possibility of there being a dominant eye, he said it could be the right eye just because it's probably stronger due to it not being damaged. But, while he doesn't recommend patching for therapy, he did recommend patching to see if we could determine a dominant eye. So, we got a sample patch and we'll start our next Sadie science experiment.

Another thing we talked about was that yes, she does have CVI (cortical visual impairment) and that her vision will continue to improve until she's 15, but the first 4-5 years are the most critical, and it's then that we'll see the most improvement. He said the best thing we can do is stimulate her with faces and big, exaggerated movement with our mouths and our voices. He said we need to protect her a little because with her visual impairment, noises will startle her more since she's not really ready for them.

And for those of you who have commented on her big eyes, you are correct. Her eyes are bigger than normal...but not by much. He said normal is 19.5mm and hers are 20-20.5mm. We kind of talked about that being because of her small head. But we never talked about the implications of this.

So, there you have it. Hope. And I'm a little excited for Sadie to wear glasses, mostly because she'll be able to see, but also because she'll be so cute!!

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