Probably the most frequently asked question I get is how we knew that Zoe needed glasses. And fair enough. Zoe’s not a big talker yet, it’s not like she could read off letters on a vision chart or anything like that.
We mentioned it to our pediatrician at her 9-month appointment. Of course, on that day, Z’s eyes were perfectly straight, but luckily our pediatrician believed us and recommended that we contact an ophthalmologist about it. She also recommended that we bring with us pictures in which she looked cross-eyed. This was a great suggestion!
So I’ll reiterate. If you are taking your child in for an initial visit because you notice his or her eyes not lining up correctly, snap a few pictures (especially with flash) and bring them with you. That way, even if your child’s eyes are perfectly aligned that day, you can still show the doctor what you’re seeing.
At that first appointment, they used cards with a square of alternating black and white stripes to measure her vision. You know how if you look at thin black and white alternating stripes it kind of looks like they’re moving? Well that’s the concept they use with the cards. If the baby notices the square, then they assume she can differentiate between the black and white lines. They show cards with progressively thinner lines until the baby doesn’t notice them at all. They also dilated Zoe’s eyes to get a closer look. In all, I’d say Zoe liked the eye doctor visit less than any pediatrician’s visit, even one with shots.
Based on looking at her eyes while dilated, the ophthalmologist noticed that Zoe was more farsighted than normal (all babies are a bit farsighted), and she agreed with us that Zoe’s eyes weren’t always aligned, but she wasn’t too concerned and told us to keep an eye on her, and watch particularly for photos where the flash reflection in the eyes are not in the same place on both eyes. At that time, all of her pictures had the flash reflections lined up.