I learned something new yesterday. Evidently there’s a term to describe what it looks and feels like to experience intermittent exotropia. Ivy, a very expressive 8 year-old twin, told me that she feels it when her eye starts to go out. “It’s only this eye”, she said – pointing to her right eye. “And I can make it happen. It’s when my eye goes googly”. As we talked, Ivy described that sometimes she sees things move or drift, and sometimes she sees double. With mom and Ivy’s permission, we took a photo aligned, and then with her letting her eye drift – which she can do at will.
Ivy’s mom related that at home they refer to this as Ivy’s eyes going googly. Ivy has an older sister who reportedly was managed effectively by alternate patching as prescribed by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Her eyes are no longer goggly – but patching didn’t work for Ivy. I didn’t realize that goggly was in the vernacular, yet alone the Urban Dictionary. Where have I been? There’s even a family game by that name from Goliath.
There certainly appears to be a genetic component to intermittent exotropia in the family. Not only Ivy’s older sister, but her twin brother also has the condition. Andrew is much less expressive than Ivy, and I had to pull it out him that he sometimes sees double. He is more of an alternator than Ivy.
Ivy and Andrew are going to be great vision therapy patients. It’s a special treat to work with twins in therapy, and we’ll look forward to helping them minimize if not eliminate the googliness.