By now many of you have seen the adorable video about a young child who looks forward to seeing her eye doctor.
Well yesterday I had a first-in-my-career experience, a positive sign-of-the-times in many ways. A 10 year-old girl who received her first prescription for high bilateral hyperopia and astigmatism at around 14 months of age, and underwent patching as the sole treatment for amblyopia, decided to do her science fair project on the subject. After all, it was personal – and she delved into it in detail. In the course of discovering information online, she learned much more about amblyopia and its treatment possibilities than what her parents had been presented with by her pediatric ophthalmologist. She understood that while her doctor had done a great job at the level at which he treated her, there was apparently much more to amblyopia than how well she could read the eye chart across the room. Although her parents were told that her eyes were now equal and fine, and her eyes cosmetically turned in considerably when she took her glasses off, she knew that she couldn’t use both eyes together and picked one or the other to look with.
Bright child, ay? Wait ’til you hear this. When she completed her online investigation, she announced to her parents that she wanted them to bring her to our office, to see if there was anything else that could be done to help her use both eyes together! Can you imagine that? Ten years old! (As Big Joe Henry would say, praising the courage of a young contestant, “When I was 10 years-old, I was on the couch eatin’ pizza and watchin’ the Three Stooges. Somebody check that girl’s driver’s license”.)