Another request for help – I just got an email from a mother of a 3 year old whose ophthalmologist is recommending bifocals to correct strabismus that is persisting despite the glasses. I know that some of you have kids in bifocals, and I feel like there has been some discussion of them before but my quick search didn’t turn much up.
So, what have your experiences with bifocals been? Any things to watch out for or be aware of?
Luke got bifocals when he was diagnosed with strabismus, amblyopia, and farsightedness in June 2008. The bifocal line is what pulls the pupil and straighens the eyes.
He did NOT like the glasses for the first few weeks and we worked hard to get him to wear them all of the time. At first I tried to not get into a power struggle with him and would let him take the glasses off and then casually put them back on a few minutes later, then when he started really fighting me I would sit him on the counter and tell him he could get down when he put his glasses on. He finally started getting used to them after almost a month and started leaving them on all of the time. He has gotten used to the line in the bifocal and actually uses them(looking down at books and up for distance.) Amazing, since he is only two and couldn’t understand any explanation of how to use them. At his appointments the doctor asks if he is using the bifocal and I’m proud to say he is since he figured it out on his own.
Anyway, the bifocals are working to straighten his eyes! Our initial visit, in which we were diagnosed, the doctor schedule surgery to straighten his eyes just in case we needed it, so that we wouldn’t have to wait longer when we came back for a follow up after three months. The nurse said that more than likely he would have to have the surgery because the left eye turned in so much. I’m saying this to encourage others because the glasses and patching have prevented surgery for the past six months! And we are not scheduled to go back to the doctor until June ’09.
We were able to cancel the sugery and when we went back to the doctor Dec 11 because his eyes are still straight enough to avoid surgery, thanks to the bifocals and patching ten hours a week.
He was very clumsy at first as he adjusted to the glasses, but kids are resilient and he is amazing. Bifocals are just a normal part of my cute kid’s face and we are so grateful for them.
My daughter’s glasses changed to bifocals in mid-September. The doctor indicated that she would be a bit clumsy when walking while getting used to the bifocals. She is adjusting well to them now.
It’s hard to tell (as I’m not trained in all of this), but it appears that she does use the bifocals for close-up focusing and the top part of the glasses for distance. Her strabismus / eye turn has improved, but still some crossing up close. We will go back in 2 months to dialate her eyes to see if her prescription (eyes) is still changing.
The one thing she still does though is to try to look over her glasses. So, I still need to use an elastic tie to make sure the glasses fit better on her face. (With her prescription being so high with the bifocals, the frames she has are the smallest that would fit her lenses while allowing her lashes not to hit the lenses.) I never noticed the looking over the glasses with her old regular glasses so I’m not sure if it’s due to the bifocals.
Anyhow, other than the initial adjustment, it’s been pretty smooth.
We also did stop the patching with the bifocals to allow her time to get used to the bifocals with both eyes. And, since her eyes both turn in equally now, we have stopped patching at this time.