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Friday, November 06, 2009

The Patch

Avery has had a true lazy eye since he was a little kid. A true lazy eye is when the vision in one eye is so bad and the other eye so good, that the brain decided to just ignore the signals coming from the bad eye in favor of the signals coming from the good eye. As he grew up, we worked hard on improving the vision in his bad eye. When he first came to live with me permanently when he was 8 years old, his vision in his bad eye was 20/200 (his good eye was 20/20 and still is). We worked on patching his good eye to force the brain to accept the signals coming from the bad eye. We also did atrophine drops in his good eye, which completely wipe out the eye's ability to focus, virtually wiping it out. Anyhow, we were able to get his vision in his bad eye down to around 20/80 by the time he was 10 years old.

After that, the doctors said that the eye really doesnt change much and patching any further would be pointless, so we stopped. Additionally, putting a corrective lens on a true lazy eye does no good because the problem is not with the eye, but with the brain and its refusal to accept the signals. For the last three years, the vision is his eye has stayed the same...around 20/80...EXCEPT for this year! This year, the doctor tried a corrective lens and it actually made a difference. He was able to bring his vision down to around 20/60 with a corrective lens.

So, we decided to try out a contact is his bad eye for awhile and see if it helps. Additionally, the doctors said that there has been some research recently that suggests that the 10 year age is not a fast and hard rule, that there has been some evidence that patching can help in later years. Given that, and a consultation with Avery's long time optometrist in Ohio along with a consultation with the local optometrist, we decided to try patching again. The agreement was that we would give it a go through one box of contacts, which would be three months since he is only wearing them in 1 eye. Furthermore, we agreed that Avery would try patching for a couple hours a day while his contact is in and while he is doing something visually intensive such as watching tv or playing video games.

It was all going well until Avery got pink eye. Then he couldnt wear his contact, or his patch. And we had to throw away that contact. And he couldnt wrestle, which was awful for Avery. Then he got rid of his pink eye last week and everything was going good again until he woke up Monday morning with pink eye again. Seriously? So, he started his medicated drops again and we threw away another contact and we washed everything again and he missed wrestling practice again and couldnt travel again. It sucked. I was trying to figure out what we forgot to wash and it transferred back to him again. I thought maybe it was his coat, so I washed that. Then....Avery was sitting around wearing his patch the other night and he turned to me and says, "Maybe the patch has pink eye." And I said, "You know what, you're probably right." Now we've had to throw away his patch too.

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