Zoe had her ophthalmologist appointment on Friday. I’d noticed that her eyes were crossing again, even with glasses, so I was expecting her prescription to increase, and indeed, it did. As her ophthalmologist was writing out her new prescription, she warned us that “this is going to look like a big change in her prescription. . . because it is a big change in her prescription.” Um, thanks for that. She went from +4.5 to +5.75 in the left eye, and from +4.75 to +6.00 in the right eye. I think it worried Chris more than it worried me, since I was hoping to hear that her prescription was off, and that’s why she was crossing her eyes again. Her ophthalmologist didn’t seem too concerned that her prescription had gotten worse, and didn’t see any reason why her eyes should keep getting worse, but I don’t think that made Chris feel any better. And once he mentioned to me how he was worried that her eyesight might keep deteriorating, I admit, I got a bit worried.
So I turned to PubMed and did a bunch of searches to try to find a bit of reassurance. The big thing I learned was reassuring – a study of 126 kids with Zoe’s condition found that all of the kids had their eyes get worse (need a stronger prescription) at first, followed by them getting better a few years later. The bad news being that the earlier the condition occurs, the worse their eyes get before getting better, and the younger kids also show less improvement. Link to the abstract for the study – I don’t have access to the full text, though I can easily get that if anyone is interested in it.
Along the way, I learned a lot about searching the opthalmologic and optometric literature – which may well be of interest only to librarians, but here goes:
- I love searching PubMed (I’m a library geek, ok?). I pretty much just searched on the name of the condition (see below), and got good results. But you can also limit to articles that focus on a specific age group – Click on the Limits tab, then scroll down to age groups and check the ones you’re interested it. So if you’re interested in nearsightedness and glasses in preschool children, you can enter: myopia and glasses in the search box, and then click the box next to “Preschool Child” and you’re on your way. Link to those results.
- I’ve always heard and referred to Zoe’s condition as “accomodative strabismus”, but at least for the sake of searching, “accomodative esotropia” is the phrase to use. Esotropia is more specific, meaning that they eyes turn in, as opposed to strabismus, which is the eyes not being aligned.
- Some authors use the term spectacles, not glasses, which isn’t surprising so much as a pain when running your searches. I’m going to update the RSS feed on the side of the blog of articles to look for both terms.
- Optometrists and Ophthalmologists don’t read (or at least cite) each other’s studies. Link.
- Also, the PubMed related article links are a great way to find more articles about a similar topic. They’re listed just to the right of the abstract for the articles.